Operation against Illicit Trade in Refrigerant Gases
17 January 2022
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

Within the framework of a joint investigation week that took place between 20 and 25 September 2021, law enforcement authorities in 16 countries cracked down on the illegal import of refrigerant gases (HFCs – hydrofluorocarbons). The operations were coordinated by Dutch authorities, OLAF and Europol. In total, 2100 cylinders of F-gases were seized and seven suspects arrested. The estimated value of the illicit trade is over €10 million. Other administrative and criminal infringements were notified. The fight against illicit HFCs is one of the priorities of OLAF’s work. Often, traders try to circumvent the strict EU rules on HFCs which is commonly used for cooling units. The EU set the goal to reduce consumption and production of HFCs by 79% by 2030 (compared to levels in 2014). For other previous actions against the illicit trade in HFCs → eucrim news of 29 July 2021 and of 1 April 2020.