Police from 34 countries arrested 166 persons during a four-day operation against crime in Southeast Europe. Seven people were arrested in Albania.
On Wednesday, Europol announced the results of the crackdown, which focused on illegal immigration and the trafficking of firearms and drugs.
22 EU member states, 11 non-EU member states, Europol, Eurojust, Frontex, and other international partners deployed 8,838 law enforcement officers.
Non-EU Member States participating in the operation included: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, United States.
More than 390,000 persons and 44,000 vehicles were checked at cross border locations and in suspected hotspots for criminal trafficking, resulting in the following arrests in several European countries:
- 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: 19
Investigators seized 51 weapons of different types and 47 kilograms of a variety of drugs.
“Criminals from the South East Europe region are increasingly expanding their network of influence. Europol is committed to working closely with this region and supporting an international coordinated and mutually supportive approach for tackling serious and organised crime. This operation is an outstanding success and exemplifies this strong law enforcement cooperation,” the Head of Europol’s Serious Organised Crime Centre, Jari Liukku, stated.