News Release

26 people smugglers arrested in 10 days in a Frontex-led operation


On 28 June-8 July, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, led an international operation against serious and organised cross-border crime in Central and South Eastern Europe.

The operation, known as Joint Action Day (JAD) Danube 4 focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants and document fraud. It was co-led by Austria, where a coordination centre was put in place to support the exchange of intelligence among the participants. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia also took part in the action. EU agencies and international organisations, such as Europol and Interpol provided the opportunity for real-time operational information exchange between the countries. 

Within less than two weeks, the international cooperation led to:

  • Arrest of 26 suspected people smugglers
  • Detection of 2 760 irregular migrants
  • Detection of 92 fraudulent documents
  • Seizure of EUR 403 850 in smuggled cash
  • Seizure of 200 000 cigarettes
  • Detection of three firearms and 88 pieces of ammunition.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a 4-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe’s borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.

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