Europol has announced that it seized 550t of illegal pesticides last year as part of an operation supported by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
Illegal pesticides can pose a threat to the environment and health and safety of consumers. The authorities said that 550t of pesticide was enough to spray 49,000km2 or the entire land area of Estonia.
This is only the fourth time this operation has taken place and we have beaten previous records again
The operation, called Silver Axe, included 30 countries across Europe including Ireland.
OLAF provided Europol and the participating countries with information on 120 suspicious shipments of pesticides into the European Union.
Europol’s executive director Catherine De Bolle said: "This is only the fourth time this operation has taken place and we have beaten previous records again.
"With operation Silver Axe, Europol underlines that the public’s health and safety comes first. It is of critical importance that we team up with our partners to tackle these types of crimes together head on and bring those who are responsible to justice."