Saturday

18th Nov 2017

Police crackdown saves 30 children, arrests over 1,000 people

  • Police seized 40 cases of Colombian cocaine (Photo: Europol)

Over 1,000 people were arrested in a nine-day police sweep co-ordinated by the EU’s police agency Europol earlier this month, saving 30 children in the process.

Speaking to reporters in The Hague on Wednesday (24 September), Europol chief Rob Wainwright said the scale of the crackdown was the largest ever.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Wainwright described the operation as “a milestone in attempts by the law enforcement” to break apart crime group networks across the EU.

The EU-wide police manoeuvres hit gangs involved in people trafficking, cybercrime, narcotics, firearms and fraud.

Code-named Operation Archimedes, the police raid saved 30 trafficked children who were destined for sexual abuse, said Wainwright

In terms of numbers, the police seized 599 kg of cocaine, 200 kg of heroine, 1.3 tonnes of cannabis, €1 million in cash, 1.5 million contraband cigarettes, 13 luxury cars and dismantled a lab which made counterfeit medicine.

Some 90 human trafficking arrests were made, along with 170 so-called facilitators of irregular migration, among many others.

The raids, which took place from 15 to 23 September, involved 35 countries and 20,000 law enforcement officers in more than 300 cities, ports, airports, and border crossings.

"Multiple criminal enterprises, some of them the most serious, have been disrupted right across Europe," Wainwright said.

With new routes used by criminal networks uncovered, Wainwright said more arrests are to be expected.

The scale of the arrests, he noted, should serve as warning to other criminal organisations “that the international law enforcement community is determined to combat their illegal activities.”

Europol had teamed up with the EU’s border control agency Frontex, the EU's joint judicial authority Eurojust, and the Lyon-based Interpol.

Meanwhile, MEPs in the civil liberties committee earlier this year voted to step up Europol’s data protection safeguards.

The European Commission had also proposed merging the agency with the European Police College (Cepol), which the deputies opposed.

The committee on Wednesday decided to open the negotiations with member states on the Europol legislative file and the European Commission plan.

MEPs point finger at Malta

The European Parliament debated shady deals and rule of law in Malta after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the Commission wanted to avoid a "political fight".

Austrian privacy case against Facebook hits legal snag

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court but won't be able to pursue a class action suit in Austria, according to a non-binding opinion by a top EU court advisor.

EU Parliament 'cookie' restrictions worry online media

The European Parliament and groups representing newspapers and magazines are at odds over how new privacy rules will affect the media, especially restrictions on website cookies - but one MEP thinks it could spark new business models.

EU Commission to target fake news

Mariya Gabriel, the EU digital economy commissioner, announces expert panel and says fake news can be tackled if people are given credible and diverse information.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

MEPs point finger at Malta

The European Parliament debated shady deals and rule of law in Malta after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the Commission wanted to avoid a "political fight".

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse