Belgian police launch environment and public health unit
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    Belgian police launch environment and public health unit

    Credit: Belga

    A new unit within the Belgian federal judicial police will track down smuggling of wildlife, pesticides or waste by means of surveillance operations, phone tapping and increased monitoring of parallel markets on the web, La Dernière Heure reported on Wednesday.

    The unit, Fuphec (Federal Unit Public Health & Environment Crime) was set up in order to act in a more effective and coordinated way against these modern crimes.

    The new unit is the result of the merger between the central environmental crime unit and the existing hormones unit within the federal police.

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    “We are officially launched, but we have been a bit slowed down because of Covid in the last few months”, said Frans Geysels, head of department at Fuphec.

    “Our two jobs are linked and often we didn’t know who was to take care of it. With this merger, we will go much faster, knowledge will be shared and we will be able to work hand in hand,” he said.

    “The aim is to be more efficient and to be able to better play our role of support, expertise and coordination for phenomena that are considered important in order to provide valid reports for the magistrate,” he continued.

    The areas in which the unit will be active include wildlife trafficking, the resale of waste or undeclared waste or parallel and illegal drug markets.

    The Brussels Times