The number of police officers working undercover has dramatically increased in recent years, according to a daily newspaper.
Citing Ministry of Justice figures, Eesti Päevaleht reported that the number of active undercover police officers between 2006-2009 was eight. In 2010, the number doubled. In 2011, the number was 23 and last year, there were as many as 35.
Practically no other information was available to the public regarding the use of undercover officers, with the exception of a few cases that came to light in court.
State Prosecutor Heili Sepp said the increased use of undercover officers was largely related to better knowledge of criminal law procedure and more efficient use of the resources available to the police. According to Sepp, the areas of crime where undercover officers are used has remained more or less the same over the years.
Court records indicate police officers have posed as children on the web in order to capture sex offenders.
One of the best known cases involving an undercover officer occurred several years ago, at the Lily bordello, where an officer collected audio and video evidence that resulted in the arrests of 17 people.