Frontex has launched Joint Operation Moldova 2023 to support national authorities with border surveillance, border checks, but also with gathering information on people smuggling networks and identifying vulnerable groups.
More than 50 standing corps officers will help the local authorities in dealing with migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings, drugs smuggling, detecting stolen vehicles, document fraud and terrorism. Another aim of the operation is to increase cooperation with the Moldovan customs service. The officers work alongside the Moldovan colleagues and under the command of the host country’s authorities.
The aim of the operation is to strengthen border control, assist Moldova in fighting cross-border crime and increase EU’s internal security.
Frontex first deployed standing corps officers to Moldova in March 2022 following the signing of the status agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova. The agency assists Moldovan authorities with border-control related tasks, including processing the large refugee flows following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2022, joint Frontex and Moldovan border police teams achieved excellent results. Thanks to their cooperation, Moldovan authorities recorded a 300% increase in the detection of irregular migration compared to 2021. Moldovan authorities also noted a significant increase in the detection of drugs, weapons and cigarette smuggling.