Crack­ing down on crim­i­nal net­works be­hind hu­man smug­gling one of Europol’s pri­or­i­ties

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Crack­ing down on the crim­i­nal net­works be­hind hu­man traf­fick­ing re­mains a top pri­or­ity for Europol, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s di­rec­tor Rob Wain­wright said yes­ter­day.

He was speak­ing at a joint press con­fer­ence with Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Carmelo Abela.

Mr Wain­wright said he was in Malta to hear about its pri­or­i­ties for the up­com­ing EU pres­i­dency with re­gard to the sec­tor.

He spoke about Europol’s role, say­ing that the agency sup­ported thou­sands of po­lice op­er­a­tions each year and was re­spon­si­ble for the re­lay of information among na­tional po­lice agen­cies.

He said counter ter­ror­ism is a top po­lit­i­cal pri­or­ity. Europol also made it a top pri­or­ity to step up the fight against crim­i­nal net­works ma­nip­u­lat­ing the flow of asy­lum seek­ers in a multi-bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try.

Mr Abela said Malta would use its EU pres­i­dency to build on the good work be­ing car­ried out by the Slo­vaks.

Malta wants to strengthen po­lice co­op­er­a­tion be­tween mem­ber states. The min­is­ter said se­cu­rity is a com­plex and chal­leng­ing is­sue and mem­ber states have to dou­ble their ef­forts for a safer Europe.

The min­is­ter said the EU needs to keep work­ing on a strat­egy for safety for the ben­e­fit of all Euro­pean ci­ti­zens.

“While en­sur­ing bet­ter ex­ter­nal bor­der con­trol, we are also de­ter­mined to en­deav­our to en­sure an ef­fec­tive prevention of, and fight against, or­gan­ised crime and ter­ror­ism.”

Mr Abela said the Mal­tese Pres­i­dency will ad­dress the press­ing is­sue of mi­gra­tion. “But at the same time, our ro­tat­ing Pres­i­dency will also be plac­ing all mat­ters re­lat­ing to se­cu­rity and counter-ter­ror­ism high on the agenda.”

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