Nearly 900 arrests and 7.7 tons of drugs seized: these are only a few of the final results from Operation Blue Amber, a series of international actions in 2015 led by EU Member States and supported by Europol.
Operation Blue Amber brought law enforcement officers from 28 EU Member States, 31 non-EU countries and other international partners together to disrupt organized crime groups and their criminal infrastructure. In 2015, several simultaneous interventions and action weeks took place across the world.
The operation focused on priority crime areas such as drug trafficking, irregular immigration, organized property crime, and counterfeit goods. Coordinated interventions took place throughout 2015 at airports, border-crossing points, ports and specific crime hot spots in towns and cities.
The final results of Blue Amber include:
Operation Blue Amber also included two drugs action weeks. Synthetic drugs trafficking and the use of small postal parcels to traffic the drugs is a key issue for many European countries. “During the Blue Amber drugs action weeks, the focus was specifically on this modus operandi of trafficking. In total, nearly 300 kg of synthetics were seized in and outside the European Union,” says Johan Nooijens, Chief Inspector, National Police Agency Netherlands. “The joint action days on drugs were successful for us. The international information exchange and coordination is the key to success against these types of international organized crimes. Under the upcoming Dutch Presidency, joint action days on drugs will be organized and strongly supported again.”
Liaison officers from the EU Member States and colleagues from other international partners coordinated the exchange of information and intelligence between national law enforcement authorities from a 24/7 operational coordination center at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. Europol specialists and analysts provided support from its headquarters and also on the spot in EU Member States.
Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, is determined to continue to support such investigations in the future: “Criminals do not take borders into account and they need to know that they are no longer safe anywhere. It is our duty as law enforcement agencies to continue this international cooperation to tackle organized crime. Europol is committed to supporting national law enforcement agencies with its unique intelligence and technical capabilities.”
“These operational activities, with a comprehensive focus on EU illicit drug entry and transit points, served as an example of how effective coordinated and joined up LE action can be in the fight against determined organized crime groups facilitating the trafficking of dangerous drugs into Europe,’’ Keith Ditcham, UK coordinator drugs action week, said.
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