Since the beginning of 2017, the Romanian Border Police followed to fulfill the duties granted by the national law, both as regards the optimization of border surveillance and control and the efficient countering of cross-border crime. During this period, it was necessary to gather all efforts for an efficient management of illegal migration phenomenon at the Romanian borders and of cross-border crime in the territorial competence area of the Border Police, through the implementation, in a unitary manner, of the specific measures of prevention and countering, the coordination – within the limits set by the law – of activities carried out by the operational structures and the effective development of serious criminal investigation and research activities related to organized crime, illegal migration and cross-border crime.
PERFORMANCE INDICATORS IN THE OPERATIONAL FIELD:
Traffic of persons and transportation means
The values of traffic recorded in the border crossing points, in the first semester of 2017, were approximately 26.760.000 person crossings (12.860.000 on the entry way and 13.900.000 on the exit way):
- approximately 22.430.000 EU citizens
- approximately 4.330.000 non-EU citizens
In comparison to the same period in 2016, when the values of person traffic recorded at the Romanian borders were 25.200.000, an increase of 7% is recorded.
Divided on border sections, the situation of values of person traffic is the following:
In comparison to the similar period of last year, an increase of the traffic of 27% was recorded at the border with Bulgaria, and at the air border it was ascertained an increase of 23.2 %.
In the first six months of this year, approximately 7.500.000 transportation means crossed the border crossing points, and similar values were recorded in the same period of 2016.
Starting in April, the Romanian Border Police carries out systematic checks at entry/exit in/from the territory of the EU Member States, following the entry into force of Regulation 458/2017 amending the Schengen Border Code. These systematic checks consist of travel document checks and verification against the relevant databases regarding all persons, including the persons benefiting from the right of free movement according to EU right.
For that purpose, measures were taken to ease the traffic, using at maximum the capacity of the border crossing points and the number of border guards carrying out their activity in the border control, as well as the equipment used for document verification were supplemented.
Illegal deeds ascertained by RBP
In the first six months of 2017, the border guards ascertained 8.346 illegal deeds (4.069 crimes and 4.277 offences).
Out of the total number of crimes - 4.069, most of them were recorded in the field of illegal migration, smuggling with consumer goods, followed by forgery and use of forgery. At the same time, as regards ascertaining and offences sanctioning, in the first semester of 2017, civil penalties amounting to 2.410.000 lei for 4.277 persons.
Most of the crimes were detected at the border with Serbia, representing 21.7% of the number of crimes ascertained at the Romanian border, and most of the civil penalties were imposed at the border with Republic of Moldova (31% of the total number).
In the first semester of 2017, 2.653 of foreign citizens were not allowed to enter Romania, for non-complying with the entry legal conditions. The main reasons were the following: not holding valid visa or a valid stay permit, not holding the necessary documents in order to justify the reason and conditions of staying. Also, following the checks, 75 foreign citizens were not allowed to enter Romania because they were a threat against public order, national safety, public health or international relations.
At the same time, while the border control, 1.474 persons, Romanian and foreign citizens, who were wanted by police or had European arrest warrants were detected and handed over to the competent authorities.
Countering illegal migration
Romania, in comparison to the other borders of EU, did not confront a massive flow of persons trying to cross illegally the border, but the situation was and is carefully monitored.
In the first six months of 2017, as a result of the surveillance and control actions of the state border, the border guards detected, in the competence area, 2.474 foreign citizens trying to cross illegally the state border, out of which 1.437 persons on the entry way and 1.037 persons on the exit way.
Last year, in the same period, 507 foreign citizens were detected acting illegally at the border – 374 persons on the entry way and 133 persons on the exit way.
Thus, at the beginning of 2017, an increase of the number of persons trying to enter illegally the country at the border with Serbia was ascertained, in comparison to 2016, and for this reason the surveillance of the border in that area was intensified. These measures discouraged the migrant groups, so that, to the end of analyzed period, the attempts to enter illegally Romania at the green border decreased considerably.
Out of the total number of persons involved in the illegal migration, most of them were organized in 353 groups of migrants - 134 traffickers were identified. Also, 80 persons involved in facilitation activities were detected (24 Romanians and 56 de foreign citizens).
In all the cases, the border guards carry out investigations for committing illegal border crossing or attempt of illegal border crossing, and the facilitators are investigated for committing smuggling of migrants.
Also, in the cases of persons detected while attempted to enter illegally Romania, the border guards start the procedure for applying the Readmission Protocols and Agreements concluded with the neighbouring states, to take over the persons by the border authorities from that states, in order to carry out the investigations and to take the legal measures.
Out of the modalities of attempt to entry/exit illegally in/from Romania most used by migrants were the following:
- attempt of illegal crossing at the “green” border
- hiding in transportation means
- use of false/forged.
As regards the citizenship of the persons detected while attempted to cross illegally the border, it was ascertained that they originate from: Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, India, Kosovo, Bangladesh and Palestine.
For the efficient management of this phenomenon, at the level of the Romanian Border Police a series of measures were taken, both from organizational point of view and in order to increase the operational capacity in the area, as follows:
- Enhancement of the border surveillance by realizing efficient devices to cover the responsibility areas and especially the risk areas detected at the level of the border police sectors;
- In order to enhance the state border surveillance device joint actions are carried out with other institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Police, Gendarmerie, General Inspectorate of Aviation), based on a common plan of maintenance, insurance of public order and increasing the safety level of the citizen. The inter-institutional cooperation actions are carried out in different areas under the competence of the Romanian Border Police situated at the south-east and south border;
- Use at maximum the monitoring devices during day/night and supplementing the technical means of mobility and surveillance in order to increase the operational capacity at the border – mobile surveillance equipment, portable equipment using the thermo-vision principle, surveillance vehicles using thermo-vision and land mobility means;
- Supplementing with personnel within central and territorial operational structures, to act progressively in the border area.
Countering cross-border crime
1.In the field of countering trafficking with consumer goods
Illegal trafficking with goods is under the attention of the border police, thus, measures were taken against persons attempting to elude Customs law, in order to obtain substantial profits from the trading of transported goods on the market.
- 597 smuggling and customs fraud and 25 economic-financial crimes were ascertained;
- 109 persons were detected while crossing/attempted to cross illegally the border (they were not subject to illegal migration) and they carried goods used for smuggling or trafficking. The smuggled goods consisted in: coffee, cigarettes, food products, electronic and household products, garments etc.
The total value of the confiscated smuggled goods is of approximately 46 million lei.
Persons originating from Albania, R. Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Germania, Algeria, Israel, France, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, China, Hungary, Greece and Romania were involved in these illegal activities.
Cigarette trafficking continues to represent one of the main activities of cross-border crime, a phenomenon spreading all over the country. Thus, during the analyzed period, the border guards confiscated 1.646.700 cigarette packages amounting 16.158.900 lei, 579,29 kg of tobacco and 18 organized groups were identified and dismantled (according to Law 39/2003) for committing smuggling with cigarettes, in which 92 persons were identified.
The persons involved originated from R. Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Armenia and Romania.
Crimes against intellectual property right
In this field, during the analyzed period, 88 crimes were detected and the border guards – independently or together with the Customs employees - detected smuggled goods with protected international trademarks, as follows:
- 754 pieces of clothing and lingerie;
- 130 pieces of cosmetics and perfumery;
- 142 pairs of footwear;
- 579 pieces of other products (electronics, electrical, toys, IT accessories, telephones, etc.).
2. In the field of trafficking with stolen vehicles- in the competence area of the Border Police, 85 vehicles reported as stolen from different countries of the European Union (62 vehicles, 6 ware trucks, 5 microbuses, 1 bus, 9 motorcycles and 2 trailers) were detected. The persons involved were Bulgarians, Italians, Greeks, Austrians, Syrians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Slovakians, Moldovans and Romanians.
3. In the field of trafficking in drugs and forbidden substances
During the reference period, the border guards – independently or in collaboration with the employees dealing with the countering of trafficking in drugs and forbidden substances - detected: 34,13 kg of cannabis, 1,67 kg of cocaine, 58.925 pieces and 1.462 ampoules of anabolic substances, 207 pieces and 12,06 gr. of other forbidden substances, 3,93 kg of forbidden substances and 85 l of other toxic substances.
At the same time, in May 2017, more than 423 kilograms of heroin were detected by the Romanian and Bulgarian border guards in Calafat-Vidin BCP, after a joint check on a truck transporting tile pallets. The searches were taken over by the Bulgarian authorities.
5. In the field of trafficking with weapons and ammunition - 61 weapons (most non-lethal) and 1.059 cartridges were detected; the persons involved originated from Austria, Romania, R. Moldova, China, Denmark.
5.In the field of fish poaching – 460 crimes related to fish poaching were ascertained and 285 sanctions amounting to 71.700 lei, 60 boats, 39 boat engines, 20.594 m monofilament nets, 532 fishing tools, 6.075 kg of fish, 15,3 kg of roe were confiscated.
- COOPERATION WITH FRONTEX AGENCY:
In the first semester of 2017, the Romanian Border Police participated in 10 joint operations and 1 pilot project organized under FRONTEX aegis.
In 2017, RBP deployed within FRONTEX operations:
- 244 border guards
- 2 vessels
- 6 thermo-vision vehicles
- 7 K-9 teams
- 42 patrol vehicles
Since the deployment in Greece (January 2017), the Romanian border guards on board of Coast Guard vessels rescued, individually and in cooperation with the crews of the other vessels belonging to EU Member States, deployed by Frontex Agency in Greece, within Joint Operation “POSEIDON SEA 2017”, 841 persons at drift on sea, onboard of small boats in the Hellenic territorial waters.
The action mode of the Romanian border guards is appreciated constantly by the European colleagues, Frontex experts, on the occasion of their participation in the joint operations carried out on the Romanian territory or on the territory of other states. At the same time, through the professionalism and devotion showed within these activities, the Frontex management appreciated Romania, on various occasions, as being an active and dependable benchmark involved in the security of the European borders.
The Romanian Border Police shall continue to undertake firm measures in all the competence areas in order to detect and detain all the persons committing illegal activities, the aim is to ensure the national security of the citizens.