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Common Operation “AVALA”


Vranje, Serbia - The Common Operation “AVALA” facilitated by DCAF Border Security Programme in cooperation with the Border Police Directorate within the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Serbia took place from 3-12 October 2016 with the focus on detection of smugglers and migrants, and other cross-border criminal activities, at the road sections from border with Macedonia towards central Serbia where the visiting police officers from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Slovenia, performed their duties together with the local law enforcements (border police, traffic police, custom service and army) at the road sections by driving marked vehicles, wearing their uniforms and carrying personal weapons. The common operation received a significant public attention in the hosting and neighbouring countries upon discovering over 157.000 packages of cigarettes hidden in a cargo on the route from Greece to Slovenia, together with other significant operational results that have been achieved during the operation which was also actively supported by Europol (22 illegal migrants found, 210l of smuggled precursors which are used in production of drugs or explosives, 4 vehicles confiscated, etc.). The common operation “AVALA” once again proved that the countries of the Western Balkan region including Moldova are prepared to undertake the common and coordinated measures in crime prevention and fight against border-related crime to promote further common activities aimed towards Schengen/EU integration with the support of Austria and Slovenia, as the EU countries.