Last month in the field: April 2024


Smuggled goods discovered during a roadshow, cleaning a littered beach, training boarding vessels, and detecting stolen vehicles – these are just a couple of examples of our officers’ successes in April. Find out last month’s stories from the field!

Smuggled cigarettes and undeclared money in Italy

It was intended as a training activity. But many things can happen when theory is put into practice with sheer determination. Cigarettes hidden in specially designed hiding places everywhere in a car and undeclared money were just some of the detections registered during the most recent roadshow organised by Frontex in Genova, Italy.  

The roadshow called ‘Cross Border Crime Action Days’, combined partially with the Roadshow on Border and Customs Cooperation, aimed at enhancing inter-institutional cooperation and developing common methods to prevent and combat smuggling related activities and more.  

The Italian Police, Customs, Guardia di Finanza and EU border guards deployed to Genova border crossing point joined forces and shared good practices under the watchful eyes of experienced trainers.  

Cleaner Earth in Lampedusa

On World Earth Day, border guards may become border guardians. Such was the case of Frontex officers deployed to Lampedusa. They collected 300 kg of plastic and litter as their individual contribution to keeping the island clean. 

“The waters of Lampedusa are infested with plastic and debris due to the high number of landings there. The island is where we work and live and we wanted to contribute to local efforts to keep the place clean. It was inspiring to see us all come together to make a meaningful change in our nearest neighbourhood,” told us the officers participating in the initiative. 

20 EU border and coast guards volunteered to take part in the clean-up action in their free time. They took care of everything – from getting protective equipment and tools to obtaining all formal consents and authorisations from Lampedusa Municipality and Guardia Costiera. 

Boarding vessels – a training in Catania

Frontex conducted a two-day workshop in Catania with the Working Group on Boarding Vessels. The workshop took place within the area of operation Themis. Its objectives were to update the handbook on boarding in Frontex-coordinated Joint Maritime Operations and to strengthen the EU cooperation on coast guard functions  

The event was attended by several maritime experts from EU countries, as well as participants from Fundamental Rights Office and International Committee of the Red Cross. The focus was given to exchanging experiences, analysing case studies, evolving procedures and testing new state-of-the-art equipment in the process of boarding vessels performed within law enforcement-related activities and other coast guard functions, like search and rescue operations  

Both Guardia di Finanza and Guardia Costiera contributed actively by showcasing their procedures and equipment. The live exercise was concluded by a MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation), emphasising the critical role of technical equipment and procedures in life-saving scenarios.

Seized in action: remarkable finds in Bulgaria and Moldova

In a recent operation, our skilled border guards in Bulgaria and Moldova showcased their exceptional vigilance, leading to the seizure of two significantly different vehicles: a brand-new luxury Audi SQ8 valued at over €100,000 and a humble trailer worth less than €10,000. 

Horia, one of our vigilant officers, was quick to spot a discrepancy in the documents presented during the border checks, which led to the identification of the stolen Audi. “Just one wrong figure in the documents made all the difference. Such vigilance is crucial in our line of work,” he noted, highlighting the importance of meticulous attention in border management. 

Similarly, Ana's keen intuition played a key role in the discovery of the trailer. “Sometimes, a gut feeling tells you there's more to a situation. It’s the unconscious application of our consciously acquired skills,” she explained. 

These successes are just examples of the continuous, excellent work carried out by our teams across Europe. Here’s to many more operational triumphs!