Illegal drugs and stolen goods seized in international operation at 28 European airports

Couriers have been arrested and drugs and stolen goods seized as law enforcement authorities from 15 countries carried out a two-day successful cross-border action covering 28 European airports, Europol said on December 12 2012.

The operation was carried out with the support of Airpol and Europol.

Operation Goodeye made use of Passenger Risk Indicators (PRIs) to detect couriers of illicit commodities hiding among the vast numbers of outgoing passengers that leave European airports on a daily basis, Europol said.

The participants in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland included various police services, border guards and customs agencies. These agencies often worked in mixed teams to combine their skills and competencies.

In total, 10 suspected couriers were arrested during last month’s cross-border action, including European citizens and couriers of West African and Asian origin.

More than 1.25 million euro worth of illicit cash shipments were stopped for seizure and/or further investigation, including euro and US dollars. In addition, officials seized cannabis and four kg of synthetic drugs destined for Central America. Other illicit commodities included a suitcase containing stolen mobile phones, false identity documents from multiple EU countries and cultural heritage goods being illegally taken out of South Eastern Europe, specifically 19 silver coins and other objects weighing more than three kg, Europol said.

Using Europol tools, cross-checks of suspects were performed, yielding positive hits in Europol’s databases related to payment card fraud. In addition, Europol’s Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) was used for the rapid exchange of live operational data between participating countries.

One week prior to this cross-border action, a workshop was held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to facilitate the exchange of best practices, tools and tactics related to outgoing passengers. The 30 workshop participants included representatives from the different law enforcement agencies working at European airports, as well as liaison officers based at Europol.

(Photo: Four kg of synthetic drugs concealed in the packaging of vinyl records en route from Europe to Central America: Europol)




The Sofia Globe staff

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