In an international operation yesterday, targeting potential travelling sex offenders, 230 people were stopped, questioned and searched by authorities in three European airports. Two individuals were temporarily arrested and media devices seized.
This European operation was planned and executed by Europol in joint cooperation with police, customs and border authorities in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. The main action took place at the international airports of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Stockholm.
Those targeted were primarily arriving from destinations known for 'child sex tourism' - countries and cities to which European paedophiles travel to engage in child sexual exploitation. More specifically, the authorities checked and profiled returning passengers and conducted interviews.
Several EU Member States assisted with information exchange, prepared and carried out checks on passengers in transit from selected flights to other EU countries. The Europol Member State Liaison Bureaux network was used for the speedy data exchange. Europol was also present in the Netherlands with a mobile office to assist with the swift exchange and checking of intelligence.
Yesterday's day of action also had the purpose of raising awareness amongst the public and those who travel to countries where vulnerable and poor people are abused by Europeans who think they can get away with their illegal and deplorable violations because it's happening outside Europe.
Europol launched Project HAVEN Halting Europeans Abusing Victims in Every Nation in November last year. The project aims to detect and disrupt travelling sex offenders originating from the EU that exploit children both inside and outside Europe.