Europol reveals how organized crime is infiltrating major European ports

The joint analysis report reveals how criminal networks exploit misused container reference codes to smuggle drugs and illegal goods into the EU.

Europol has published one joint analysis report Examines the risks and challenges posed by criminal networks operating in EU ports, and highlights the increasing concentration of criminal organizations in major logistical hubs such as ports in their quest to increase profits and expand their illegal activities.

The report, prepared in collaboration with the Security Steering Committee of the ports of Antwerp, Hamburg/Bremerhaven and Rotterdam, highlights the use of misappropriated container reference codes, also known as PIN code fraud, as a growing trend in criminal networks to extract illegal goods from ports. The report also highlights the coordination of local networks of corrupt port insiders as a key tactic for port infiltration.

The three largest ports in Europe, namely those in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg, are among the targets of criminal infiltration, which requires the bribery of large numbers of accomplices. The report highlights the need for law enforcement agencies to adapt to new realities working method Used by criminal networks such as B. the exploitation of embezzled container reference codes.

The report also notes the rise of crime-related violence in ports and competition for distribution.

The report’s recommendations include improved international information-sharing on criminal network activities in ports, the integration of security features into the design of port infrastructure, and public-private partnerships to involve all port stakeholders, which are essential to countering criminal network infiltration in EU ports are .

“Criminal networks work closely together to evade security at land borders, air and sea ports,” said Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle. “They only have one thing in mind – profit. An effective response is closer collaboration between the public and private sectors; that will make both sides stronger.”

The report underscores the need for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors to combat organized crime, working closely together to circumvent security measures.

Seaports in the EU handle around 90 million containers each year, but authorities can only inspect between 2% and 10% of them, giving criminal networks ample opportunity to exploit logistical hubs.

The report has received the support of Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

“The Europol report on criminal networks in ports shows what we are dealing with,” said Commissioner Johansson. “It reveals the sophistication of criminal drug gangs, their power and their ferocity. Drug traffickers sometimes encourage corrupt acts and practices through bribery, sometimes through intimidation. We are working with government agencies at all levels to strengthen systems to combat the criminal activities detailed in this report.”

The report concludes that deeper knowledge is the most effective weapon against organized crime, as vulnerabilities in EU ports pose a law enforcement challenge and an opportunity for criminal networks.

You can The report can be found here.

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