50 people smugglers arrested in international operation led by Frontex

From 11 to 21 September, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, together with Austria 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 5, was the first joint action day organised by Frontex under COVID-19 conditions and the first such international operation this year. It proves that the agency is able to provide continuous operational support to EU Member States even in the most challenging situations.

JAD Danube 5 focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants, fighting trafficking in human beings and document fraud. A joint operational office was set up in Vienna to support the exchange of information among the participants and lead the investigations into people smuggling and trafficking in human beings as a result of the operation. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania also took part in the action. Europol and Interpol also supported the operation.

In just over a week, the operation led to:

Arrest of 50 suspected people smugglers
Detection of 7248 irregular migrants
Detection of 83 fraudulent documents
Detection of 17 stolen cars
Detection of undeclared 20,000 surgical masks

The operation was part of the EU Policy Cycle/EMPACT, 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.