From 7 to 10 September the International Training Centre from the Hungarian Ministry of Interior hosted the CEPOL course 6/2015 “Cigarette smuggling”. The activity aimed at expanding the participants’ knowledge on techniques to investigate, control and prevent this type of organised crime. Experts from Germany, Romania, United Kingdom, Hungary and international organisations such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Commission, EUROPOL and FRONTEX contributed to the success of the training.
Course participants – senior police and customs officers from 21 EU Member States – gained deep understanding on tracing smugglers, learned about the latest technological innovations in this field and the benefits they can bring to investigations, and discussed on cooperation possibilities within relevant European actors (national law enforcement agencies, EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the leading multinational tobacco companies) to effectively tackle cigarette smuggling.
Trainers highlighted the increasing number of successful operations on tobacco contraband thanks to the exchange of information between administrations. They also emphasised, on the other hand, the new modus operandi and unusual behaviours developed by criminals, which makes counter-acting tobacco smuggling still a challenge. The programme included a visit to the Dog Training Centre of the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary, interactive workshops and a presentation on the work of the Hungarian Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Feedback from participants praised the course content as well as the organisation. “The knowledge I have gained can help my office deal with this problem from a different perspective”, “the new colleagues I have met will facilitate cooperation through the sharing of intelligence” and “everything was well organised and very professional” were some of the comments received.