More than 390,000 individuals were checked at cross border locations and suspected illicit trafficking hotspots as part of an organized crime crackdown. The four-day operation at the end of September, coordinated by the European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT) and led by the Spanish Guardia Civil, saw 33 countries team up during joint action days (JADs).
Nearly 9,000 law enforcement officers were involved in the operation and included police officers, land, sea and air border guards and customs agents. INTERPOL played a key role in the Southeast Europe JADs, leveraging expertise from Project Millennium – aimed at combating organized crime in the Balkans among other regions – as well as resources from the INTERPOL Criminal Data Management Department and INTERPOL Firearms Program.
During the span of the action week, more than 390,000 individuals and 44,000 vehicles were checked at cross border locations and suspected illicit trafficking hotspots. In total, countries participating in the JADs performed nearly 14 million searches on INTERPOL databases during the four days, resulting in more than 5,000 hits.
These controls and investigations have led to a number of arrests in several European countries on the following charges:
- Firearms trafficking or illegal possession of firearms: 17
- Migrant smuggling or illegal immigration: 73
- Drug trafficking: 37
- Firearms and drug trafficking: 7
- Document fraud: 12
- International arrest warrant: 1
- Other crimes not related to the JAD: 19
In addition, investigators seized 51 weapons of different types and 47 kilograms of a variety of drugs.