The Civil Guard investigates 72 people to clarify if they have committed crimes related to maritime pollution. It does so as a result of the first global operation to pursue this type of crimes that has coordinated the Interpol in more than 80 countries, including Italy, Sweden, Canada or Argentina. In Spain, the operation baptized as 30 days at sea It has detected 73 cases of illegal spills during the past month of October after carrying out more than 1,000 inspections on ships, ports, facilities and places adjoining the sea in which the discharges have been identified and analyzed. Throughout the world, more than 5,000 controls have been carried out, which have resulted in around 200 investigations.
Crimes against natural resources and the environment result in prison sentences of between six months and five years. The investigations of the armed institute have shown "the diversity of types of pollutant discharges that end up in the sea" and that arrive through urban wastewater, agricultural and industrial activities and maritime traffic itself. In addition, 55 complaints have been made for non-compliance with waste management regulations.
"The criminals believe that marine pollution is a crime of low risk without real victims, and it is a mistake that we are dealing with," said the general secretary of Interpol, the German Jürgen Stock. The Civil Guard, in addition, has warned that the contamination by discharges to the sea supposes a concern of first level for the European Union and that, for that reason, has included it in the strategy against the organized delinquency. In addition, they have had an impact on Spain's preponderant role due to its peninsular status. In the operation, agents of Seprona and the Coast and Border Surveillance Center participated.
As warned by the Civil Guard, which cites reports from the United Nations and Interpol, these infractions grow around the world around 7% per year and represent a business that reports between 90,000 and 250,000 million US dollars a year. Interpol has launched this plan to respond to the increase in this type of crime. And it has initiated an awareness campaign against environmental crimes in social networks, which will be active until December 13 under the labels #PollutionCrime and #CleanSeas.