Greece and Albania signed a bilateral agreement yesterday that will create a customs and police collaboration facility at the Kakavia border crossing in the South of Albania.
The agreement was signed by Greece’s Deputy Minister for Citizens’ Protection Eleftherios Economou and Albania’s Deputy Interior Minister for Border Issues Julian Hodaj. It aims to “strengthen existing cooperation with the aim of finding solutions for managing and combating modern-day challenges and security threats.”
The facility will be located on the Greek side of the border and will be staffed by customs officers and police from both countries. They will exchange information and intelligence and collaborate on matters regarding illegal migration, extremism, human trafficking, travel document fraud, and the smuggling of drugs, weapons and other customs violations.
The agreement is an important step in the fight against organized crime, said Economou.
Over the last year, a large number of migrants have been smuggled through Albania from borders with Greece, onwards to the European Union. An investigation by Exit revealed that it was sometimes done with the knowledge of police and that there are cases where migrants were pushed back over the border in an illegal manner.
Frontex was later accused illegal deportation of migrants and refugees in Greece and Albania.