Frontex co-leads operation against crime in Western Balkans

It was focused on combatting firearms and drugs trafficking, irregular migration and document fraud

Photo: Frontex

Last week, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, co-led an international operation against serious and organised cross border crime in the Western Balkans region.

According to the agency's press office, the four-day operation, known as Joint Action Day (JAD) Western Balkans, was led by Spain and co-led by Frontex, Europol, Germany and Bulgaria and focused on combatting firearms and drugs trafficking, irregular migration and document fraud.

In total 30 countries, eight agencies and a number of international organisations, including Interpol and UNODC, teamed up to help the region’s authorities combat crime. Frontex performed controls at border crossing points, border surveillance activities, and helped officers determine whether the documents they were checking were genuine.

As a result 14 cases of visa fraud or misuse, 71 forged or falsified documents and 164 clandestine entries were detected, as well as 51 firearms and 895 pieces of ammunition seized.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a four-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe’s borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.

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