EU-Neighbourhood Partner Countries cooperation help dismantle criminal networks in the Mediterranean
September 20, 2019
A maritime border operation coordinated by INTERPOL has detected more than a dozen suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) travelling across the Mediterranean. Operation Neptune II (24 July – 8 September) focused on the threats posed by suspected FTFs potentially using maritime routes between North Africa and Southern Europe during the busy summer tourist season.
Supported by an INTERPOL team on the ground, the intelligence-led operation also targeted criminal networks involved in human trafficking, people smuggling, firearms trafficking and the drugs trade.
Officials at seven seaports in the six participating countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia – carried out more than 1.2 million searches across INTERPOL’s databases for stolen and lost travel documents, nominal data and stolen vehicles via its I-24/7 secure global police communications network.
These resulted in 31 active investigative leads, with more than 12 of these linked to the movement of terror suspects.
The objective of INTERPOL SOUTH programme is to intensify and accelerate exchange of operational information in the Neighbourhood South, and with EU, on issues related to organised crime, terrorism, smuggling of migrants, trafficking of human beings and trafficking of small arms, and, to this effect, to increase data collection from the Neighbourhood South.