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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Frontex Boosts Firearm Detection Skills in the Western Balkans

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has recently concluded a successful firearm detection training program for Border and Customs officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. 

This two-week initiative, which took place in Kupari, Croatia, was designed to bolster skills and knowledge in combating weapon smuggling – a crime that often fuels other criminal activities. The program was conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program SEESAC and was enriched with insights from experienced EU national experts.

Participants engaged in practical training exercises and received updates on illicit weapons trafficking methods. The hands-on training approach, which included exercises at the Border Control Point at Karasovici, Croatia/Montenegro border, ensured that officers are well-prepared for real-life scenarios. 

Recognizing the need for continuous education, Frontex has also developed a comprehensive “Handbook on Firearms for Border Guards and Customs”. This resource brings together latest developments and best practices from European and international experts in the field. The handbook, currently being translated into Albanian and North Macedonian, is intended to serve as a go-to guide for border officers throughout the Western Balkans and beyond. 

More training programs, set to take place in July and October, will further support Western Balkan authorities in their efforts to combat cross-border weapon smuggling. 

This program forms part of the larger European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) Firearms initiative. The initiative seeks to strengthen cooperation among EU Member States, European agencies, and international organizations to enhance the security of Europe’s borders. 

Read more at Frontex

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