On 19 September, Moldova and Ukraine successfully concluded their twelfth joint border control operation carried out in cooperation with EUBAM. The operation, code-named Olvia, took place along the Moldovan-Ukrainian border between June and September 2014. It involved Ukrainian and Moldovan law-enforcement agencies, Europol, Interpol, Frontex, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC) and border police and customs officials from Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Operation Olvia addressed border control concerns ranging from illegal migration and human trafficking to smuggling and the violation of intellectual property rights. It led to some 140 interventions and the seizure of vehicles, alcohol, cigarettes, weapons, psychotropic substances and consumer goods. Twelve illegal migrants were detained and a cannabis cultivation area was identified in the border region. The value of goods seized is estimated at about one million Euros.
Beyond its sectorial successes, Olvia offered an opportunity to improve control practices at border and inland locations, increase mutual knowledge and trust between Moldovan and Ukrainian law-enforcement officers and between them and all other international partners involved. The remarkable progress in threat identification and exchange of actionable intelligence was clear evidence of the high-level of border, police and customs cooperation.
In congratulating participants for the excellent outcome of the exercise, EUBAM Head of Mission, Mr. Francesco Bastagli, said, “Given the results achieved in recent years, we should now move towards further empowerment of the Moldovan and Ukrainian partner services. Such joint operations should increasingly be defined and managed by them. EUBAM will be there to help down this road to self-sufficiency, as appropriate”. Among the measures considered for the next round of exercises in spring 2015 are the total devolution to the Moldovan and Ukrainian services of the definition of the operational plans and the hosting of the Operation Coordination Units within the partners’ premises.
The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine was launched in 2005 to promote border control and customs norms and practices that meet European standards and to serve the needs of Moldovan and Ukrainian citizens and trade. EUBAM activities help advancing economic development and enhancing border security.