The illegal poaching and trapping of migratory birds earns criminals around 11 million euros, according to Justice minister Anna Procopiou.

Procopiou produced the figure after the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Game and Fauna Service and the police regarding the re-establishment of the anti-poaching squad.

Procopiou announced the squad’s re-establishment together with Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou, with both saying that the reconstituted anti-poaching squad would employ twice the number of people as previously.

“The figure of 11 million euros is something that the anti-poaching squad will be called upon to deal with,” Procopiou said, adding that she intends for it to operate in a more efficient way than before.

Ioannou said that there had been a total of 3,200 cases of people violating anti-poaching legislation in the last six years, with the total amount of fines now over 3.5 million euros.