100,000 cigarettes seized during EUBAM’s latest JBCO ‘Ovidius’

        EUBAM has completed its evaluation of the 11th Joint Border Control Operation (JBCO) ‘Ovidius’. The operation, which aimed to improve inter-agency and international cooperation, and enhance border-control measures in order to prevent cross-border crime, was carried out in July 2013.

        The evaluation report gives an overview of planning, implementation and outcome of the operation. ‘Ovidius’ provided an excellent opportunity for law-enforcement agencies in Moldova and Ukraine to interact and exchange intelligence, and open up new investigations.

        ‘Ovidius’ saw EUBAM once again engaging a number of international partners to assist the Mission’s partner services in disrupting criminal activity at the border. The key stakeholders to take part this time were Europol, Frontex, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), the World Customs Organization’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Eastern and Central Europe (WCO RILO ECE), and the law-enforcement authorities of several EU Member States (Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia).

        ‘Ovidius’ deployed special Task Force Teams to operate at selected seaports, airports, land border crossing points, and inland customs points, and to target specific types of crime.

        During the operational phase of ‘Ovidius’, the partner services reported 116 incidents; seized 100,000 pieces of cigarettes, 19 vehicles, 3,896 litres of alcohol and two weapons; 81 people were sanctioned for violations of the border regime; 13 illegal migrants and three facilitators were detained. Non-declared consumer goods were detected in 10 cases, with the total value of seized goods amounting to EUR 300,000.