10 couriers arrested, 1.25 million euros stopped and 4 kilos of synthetic drugs seized after checks at 28 European airports

12 December 2012
Press Release
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Drug Trafficking

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The Hague, the Netherlands

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

With the support of Airpol and Europol, law enforcement authorities from 15 countries have carried out a two-day successful cross-border action covering 28 European airports.

Operation ‘Goodeye’ made use of Passenger Risk Indicators (PRIs) to detect couriers of illicit commodities hiding amongst the vast numbers of outgoing passengers that leave European airports on a daily basis.

The participants in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland included various Police services, Border Guards and Customs agencies. These agencies often worked in mixed teams to combine their skills and competencies.

In total, 10 suspected couriers were arrested during last month’s cross-border action, including European citizens and couriers of West African and Asian origin. Over €1.25 million worth of illicit cash shipments were stopped for seizure and/or further investigation, including euros and US dollars. In addition, officials seized cannabis and 4 kg of synthetic drugs destined for Central America. Other illicit commodities included a suitcase containing stolen mobile phones, false identity documents from multiple EU countries and cultural heritage goods being illegally taken out of South-East Europe, i.e. 19 silver coins and other objects weighing over 3 kg.

Using Europol tools, cross-checks of suspects were performed, yielding positive hits in Europol’s databases related to payment card fraud. In addition, Europol’s Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) was used for the rapid exchange of live operational data between participating countries.

One week prior to this cross-border action, a workshop was held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to facilitate the exchange of best practices, tools and tactics related to outgoing passengers. The 30 workshop participants included representatives from the different law enforcement agencies working at European airports, as well as Liaison Officers based at Europol.