Monday, February 22, 2016

Europol launches European Migrant Smuggling Centre, EMSC.

Europol launches European Migrant Smuggling Centre, EMSC.  (MaltaToday).

Europol has launched the new European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC), with the aim of supporting member states in dismantling criminal networks involved in organised migrant smuggling.

The Centre will focus on geographical criminal hotspots, and will build a better capability across the European Union to fight people smuggling networks.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, said: “The fight against migrant smuggling is a key priority for the European Union in addressing the refugee crisis. In order to step up and coordinate efforts across Member States, the European Commission announced the creation of a European Migrant Smuggling Centre with Europol in its European Agenda on Migration. The launch of this Centre will reinforce cooperation with Member States, international organisations, national stakeholders and European agencies, with a responsibility to fight migrant smuggling.”

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol; said: “Europol’s research indicates 90% of migrants arriving in Europe have their journey facilitated by a criminal organisation. Tackling this huge people smuggling trade, therefore, has become an essential part of the EU’s response to the migrant crisis.

The European Migrant Smuggling Centre will provide the necessary platform by which Member States can improve their exchange of information and operational coordination in the fight against organised migrant smuggling.”

The European Migrant Smuggling Centre will be led by Robert Crepinko who said: “The EMSC will play a decisive role in proactively supporting Member States to target and dismantle organised crime networks involved in migrant smuggling. Acting as an information hub, this Centre will support the EU Regional Task Force and the work of other partner agencies.”  Read the full story here.

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