Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Law enforcement officials in the Balkans are sounding the alarm over an increase in illicit flows through the region’s airports. According to a new report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, airports in the Balkans have become key transit points for a range of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, human smuggling, and money laundering.
The report highlights the vulnerability of the Balkans, which has long been a transit point for illicit flows between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The region’s strategic location, porous borders, and weak law enforcement make it an attractive destination for criminal groups seeking to move drugs, people, and money across borders.
The report identifies several key factors contributing to the rise in illicit flows through Balkan airports. These include the growth of low-cost airlines, which have made air travel more accessible to a wider range of people, including criminals. The lack of effective screening measures at some airports has also made it easier for criminals to smuggle illicit goods and money across borders undetected.
The report recommends a range of measures to address the problem, including improving cooperation between law enforcement agencies in the region, enhancing the capacity of airport security personnel, and strengthening legal frameworks to enable more effective prosecution of those involved in illicit activities.
The report also calls for increased investment in community policing and social programs to address the root causes of criminal activity, such as poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion.
Law enforcement officials in the Balkans have welcomed the report, calling for greater international cooperation to tackle the problem. “The rise in illicit flows through our airports is a serious concern for law enforcement in the region,” said one official. “We need to work together to strengthen our ability to detect and disrupt these activities, and to address the root causes of criminality in our communities.”
As the Balkans continue to face a range of security challenges, including terrorism, organized crime, and political instability, addressing the problem of illicit flows through the region’s airports will be a key priority for law enforcement and policymakers in the years ahead.