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CSCWB and OSCE Mission to Serbia collaborate on human smuggling seminar

In the framework of a regional series of workshops on Smuggling of Persons and Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) with a focus on the work of Western Balkan Task Forces, initiated as part of the Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSCWB)’s Technical Assistance Facility, the project reinforced the cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Serbia and contributed to the realisation of their seminar on “Strengthening the regional response in the fight against human smuggling” that took place on 8-9th December in Bucharest, Romania.

The regional event gathered police and prosecution representatives from Hungary, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Romania, engaged in the fight against smuggling of persons. On the first day, participants from the mentioned countries had the opportunity to present the current situation in relation to smuggling of migrants and to receive latest updates on migrant smuggling trends and threats from the perspective of international police organisations, such as INTERPOL, EUROPOL and SELEC (Southeast European Law Enforcement Center). On the following day, practitioners from Germany delivered a presentation on the so- called Hawala method of payment, often used by organised criminal groups involved in migrant smuggling, while the representative of the Italian Guardia di Finanza provided a case study on financial investigations in cases of THB and smuggling of persons.

The seminar provided a platform for open discussions and exchange on common challenges in fighting smuggling of persons and enabled continued strengthening of the network of practitioners from EU and WB countries.