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Common Operations SAVA, DRINO and TUZI

Based on the expressed need of Beneficiaries to the acute increase in the migration, additionally supported by the Regional Risk Analysis Workshop and the Planning of Common and Coordinated Operations Meeting, which took place in June 2018 at Brdo near Kranj, Slovenia, under the auspices of the DCAF Border Security Programme, and in the framework of the project “Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans” jointly financed by the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany, DCAF Ljubljana organised three common operations this year. Their scope is to provide training and practical exercise in order to efficiently address the increasing migratory pressure.

The first operation, entitled “SAVA” took place between 19- 28 March 2018 in Serbia. The Operation focused on performing road checks (compensatory measures) in the direction towards the Macedonian border on vehicles and passengers in order to detect illegal migrants, smugglers and other cross-border criminal activities, such as use of fake and forged documents, human trafficking, weapons smuggling, smuggling of drugs and customs goods, etc. The Operation, which additionally serves as an intensive field training activity provided the relevant services with the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on different procedures, equipment and to highlight and address any possible legal and operational gaps. Further to the training outcomes, the activity also had some operational results, specifically:

  • 1 case of illegal border crossing – discovery of 3 Syrian nationals who entered from Macedonia and traveling towards Belgrade,
  • 4 cases of smuggling goods – total of 2’100 packs of “Kamagra” gel, 5’378 packs of unmarked cigarettes and 472g of heroin.

Between 16- 25 July 2018, Common Operation “DRINO” took place in Albania in the border area with Greece. The Operation, which was based on the Regional Risk Analysis was organised along the newly opened “Adriatic” migration route and was aimed at improvement of capacities when dealing with the phenomenon of enhanced migration flow. During the course of the Operation, visiting officers from nine countries of the region took part, as well as representatives of several European Agencies. The Operation, which additionally serves as an intensive field training activity provided the relevant services with the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on different procedures (green border surveillance, checks of vehicles, debriefings/interviews with migrants…), equipment and to highlight and address any possible legal and operational gaps. During the operation in total of 50 persons were apprehended who had illegally crossed the border between Greece and Albania.

Between 24 September and 3 October 2018, Common Operation “TUZI” took place in Montenegro in the border area near Shkodra lake, along the border with Albania. The second operation along the newly established “Adriatic” migration route was based on the Regional Risk analysis and involved, visiting officers from 9 countries of the region, who engaged in a common effort aimed at improvement of capacities when dealing with the phenomenon of enhanced migration flow. In addition, representatives of several European Agencies and Organisations also took part in the activities.
The Operation, which additionally serves as an intensive field training activity provided the relevant services with opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on different procedures (green border surveillance, checks of vehicles, debriefings/interviews with migrants…), equipment and to highlight and address any possible legal and operational gaps. During the Operation:

  • 30 persons were discovered who had illegally crossed the border between Albania and Montenegro,
  • 1 person was admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for tuberculosis,
  • 1 stolen vehicle was discovered,
  • 1 hunting rifle was confiscated (along with ammo).

For more information about the IPA 2017 “Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans” project, please visit their website: https://cscwb.info