On the 24th of November AP EnviCrime team celebrated its 5th anniversary since the opening order was signed. This was the result of a long journey in which certain actors proved crucial, such as EnviCrimeNet, in terms of raising awareness in this crime area since 2011. The Spanish Guardia Civil and French Gendarmerie were also crucial, deploying two cost-free SNEs and providing major investigations at the beginning, even before the team was officially established.
During the last five years, Europol has become central in the fight against environmental crime worldwide. Their approach is purely cooperative, trying to align different activities and existing projects to gain efficiency and deliver their message to relevant actors and, more importantly, practitioners of the field.
In this context, crime against the environment also finds in EnviCrimeNet and the LifeSatec Project, an important resource in which Europol actively participates as Secretary of EnviCrimeNet.
Europol cooperates on a regular basis with all their European partners as well as with American partners and are recently expanding their activities to Asia and Oceania. Successful actions such as operation TARANTELO, which radically increased the knowledge about Bluefin tuna and proved connections of environmental crimes with financial crimes and corruption; OTF CLOSED DOORS focused on F-gas smuggling and greenhouse effect, with a solid financial component in terms of tax evasion; and the well-known operation LAKE on glass eels trafficking to Asia, which is a business worth UR 3 billion annually and is exterminating eels.
The anniversary has been a significant event because environmental crime affects all of us in one way or another, and therefore through these events, cooperation and knowledge, in this area, are reinforced.