According to a statement from Europol (European Police Service), the action of the GNR was part of the Retrovirus operation to combat the illegal disposal and transport of sanitary waste, which involved 30 countries and in which approximately 280,000 inspections were carried out and 102 people have been detained.

According to Lusa News Agency, the National Republican Guard (GNR) inspected more than 2,000 companies, hospitals and health centers, having detained 30 people, seized material worth 790,000 Euros and issued fines for administrative violations.

The authorities also supervised the transport of medical waste across the European Union and police in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia identified illegal shipments, which were returned to the country of origin.

Another trend identified during the operation was the possible pollution of urban wastewater. The Spanish Civil Guard launched the Arcovid operation to investigate the water filtration treatments for pollutants and the possible presence of the new coronavirus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, police authorities have detected a “potential growth in the treatment and illegal disposal of sanitary waste” which has instigate authorities in several countries to carry out inspections on the buildings and transportation of sanitary wastes, “which were crucial to prevent illegal trafficking, storage, dumping and transportation of waste”, according to Lusa.