Executive Director Rob Wainwright
The launch of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in February 2016 was a major element of the EU’s response to the migration crisis that began to unfold in 2015. The creation of this new Centre was also a significant organisational undertaking for Europol.
Challenges included the need to recruit and train new staff in order to have them operational in a short space of time; the development of a new staffing model to allow for short-term deployments to the migration ‘hot spots’; and the establishment of working relationships with new partners such as the EU NAVFOR-MED naval mission in the Mediterranean.
We did not allow these diverse challenges to distract us from the core tasks of the EMSC, namely supporting cross-border investigations to disrupt and prosecute organised crime groups. EMSC’s operational focus is a good illustration of the wider crime trends we have observed, as reported in the Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) last year. In particular, the three so-called ‘engines of crime’ have been a particular focus: the online trade in illicit services, document fraud and money laundering.
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