An information cell against crime has recently been activated via operation EUNAVFOR Med, a Sophia Task Force operator which is active in the south Mediterranean. After the decision adopted by the EU Council on 14 May 2018, specialised personnel from the EU agencies Europol, Frontex –the European Border Agency and the Coast Guard – and the EUNAVFOR Med have been on board the Italian ship San Giusto as part of the Sophia operation.
The setting up the criminal information cell opens a new chapter for operational cooperation between security sectors and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) that will try to reinforce their collective effectiveness and operational impact.
The anti-crime information cell can improve the exchange of information regarding criminal activities in the central Mediterranean and provide a platform to take advantage of the unique capacities of the agencies to intercept criminal networks in the scope of the EUNAVFOR MED operation and beyond.
The anti-crime information cell can facilitate the gathering and transfer of information about illegal people trafficking, implementing an embargo on UN weapons in Libya, the illegal exporting of petroleum from Libya in accordance with UNSCR 2146 (2014) and 2362 (2017), as well as criminal activity related to the security of the operation itself.
The participation of Frontex in the anti-crime information cell will serve to develop global intelligence unit for illegal people trafficking and other types of cross-border criminal activities, including terrorism. The information provided by the anti-crime information cell will also improve the capacity for surveillance and EU external border control by Frontex.
The deployment of Frontexpot mobile teams can offer new opportunities to gather information about methods used by criminal groups and improve operational and strategic analysis carried out by Frontex, Europol and EUNAVFOR Med.
In close collaboration with members of the Information Society against Crime and the member states of the EU, Europol continues to work to give effective support to transnational investigations, focusing on organised smuggling of immigrants and on international and organised crime and terrorism.
Moreover, Europol will provide the EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia with all the resources to decide on operative decisions and tactics and contribute to the efficiency of the operation mandate.
The project’s trial period will last six months. At the end of the period, the pilot project’s lessons will also be used to provide information about future CSDP-JHA cooperation in a broader context.
EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia (ENFM) is a The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operation focused on stopping the business model involved in people trafficking and immigrant traffickers and on contributing to EU efforts to restore stability and security in Libya and the central Mediterranean region. ENFM is the first EU seaborne force to provide security at sea in the central Mediterranean and works closely with different national and international, governmental and non-governmental, civil and military organisations.