Description: Bucharest, June 19, 2014 – The representatives of the law enforcement authorities from 10 SELEC Member States and partners (EUBAM, the Netherlands, RCC, Spain, UK and USA) participated at the 21st Meeting of Mirage Task Force, organized at SELEC premises on 19th of June 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Cristian Duţă, Director for Operations of SELEC.
During the meeting, the 2013 Regional Evaluation Report on Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling was presented and discussed. At the same time, there were presented some successful joint investigations carried out last year in this field:
“RADIO” was developed by Hungary and Republic of Serbia, targeting an organized crime group dealing with migrants smuggling from the territory of Kosovo*, Syria and other African and Asian countries to Hungary, through the green border, and further to other EU countries.
This joint investigation was awarded a second price for the second semester of 2013 by SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee.
“SOUTH” was a case in the field of migrants smuggling developed by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Croatia, which was awarded a second price for the first semester of 2013 by SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee.
“ESZEK/KASTEL” was initiated in October 2012 and involved Republic of Croatia and Hungary, targeting an organized crime group dealing with the facilitation of illegal migration along the Hungarian and Croatian border. This joint investigation was awarded a second price for the first semester of 2013 by SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee.
“HIT” started in December 2012 between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia targeting an organized crime group dealing with migrants smuggling. SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee awarded a third price for the first semester of 2013 to this joint investigation.
The representatives of the Member States presented other successful cases in this filed, highlighting new trends, modus operandi, routes and investigative methods.
On this occasion, the Evaluation Report for Operation Mirage 2013 was presented and adopted by the participants. The main aim of this operation was to encourage and support the exchange of information and intelligence between participating countries in relation to traffickers, migrants, transporters, new routes and modus operandi in order to tackle smuggling of migrants and illegal migration in the involved countries targeting the organizers, accomplices and companies. The region-wide one time Operation Mirage 2013 was carried out for a period of 7 days, during 14th – 21st of October 2013, and the law enforcement authorities from 10 SELEC Member States took part in the operation.
The participants at the meeting agreed that smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings occur trans-nationally and transcend national boundaries, making international cooperation an essential prerequisite to prevent and combat this type of crime.
SELEC will continue to be a platform to facilitate exchange of information and support the efforts of Member States in disrupting the phenomenon of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings, dismantling criminal networks as well as investigating and prosecuting the conviction of perpetrators.
The Mirage Task Force is one of the oldest SELEC’s task forces, being established in 2000 and coordinated by Romania.
* This designation is without prejudice on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and ICJ Advisory opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.