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News Alert, Environmental Crime |  Coordinated action uncovering criminal networks: – Norway is an attractive market

News Alert, Environmental Crime | Coordinated action uncovering criminal networks: – Norway is an attractive market

EU-coordinated monitoring measures, “Enforcement Measures for Illicit Trade in Cats and Dogs,” began in July last year and ended this summer. The aim of the campaign was to uncover the illegal importation of dogs and cats.

Norwegians are fond of pets, willingness to pay is high and prices are often high. This makes Norway an attractive market for criminals to smuggle pets into. Okokrim encourages everyone who intends to get a pet to be careful about where you buy your pet, says Tova Brorby, Chief of Police and National Environmental Crimes Coordinator at Okokrim, in a press release.

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Okokrem states that in addition to smuggling dogs themselves, criminal networks have forged documents used when transporting pets. Examples mentioned include pet passports, vaccination certificates and health certificates.

Profitable market

According to the European Union, demand for dogs amounts to up to eight million individual dogs per year. This corresponds to a total value of profits of one billion euros.

– If you find yourself in a situation where you have purchased a pet that has been smuggled into the country, it is important to report the situation, Brorby points out.

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The European Commission states that 467 notifications were reported to the European notification system iRASFF, and 47 court cases were brought before the procedure.

Extensive European operations

Okukrim writes that the central smuggling routes extend from Romania, Hungary and Poland to Germany, from Serbia to Slovenia, from Russia and Belarus to Poland and Latvia, and by plane from Turkey to the Netherlands and Austria. It was revealed that over a four-year period, criminal networks illegally imported 27,000 dogs and cats from Russia and Belarus into the EU/EEA.

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Pet smuggling is dangerous and is often run by organized networks, involving multiple people and large sums of money. Pets are often sold through intermediaries. Cross-border investigations can be extensive. Økokrim is convinced that this action led to the exposure of several criminal networks and a total of 47 cases before the court, says Brorby in conclusion.