Min. Justice: Severe penalties were introduced for traffickers

3 9 screenshot

The readiness of the Republic of Cyprus to work with its European partners on the revision of the European legislation to combat the smuggling of immigrants, expressed the Minister of Justice and Public Order Anna Koukkidis-Prokopiou.

At the same time, he recommended the emphasis on strict criminal consequences for traffickers and the use of the support offered by Eurojust, while he said that technology can be a means of properly informing potential victims of illegal trafficking, preventing dangerous journeys.

According to an official announcement, the Minister of Justice was speaking as part of her participation in the first International Conference organized by the European Commission yesterday in Brussels, chaired by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson. The Conference was the inaugural meeting of the global alliance to intensify cooperation with partner countries, inside and outside the European Union, to deal with this internationally evolving crime.

During the conference, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasized that the creation of the global alliance as a mechanism to establish a formal process of exchange of views on the issue and the new legislative proposal promoted by the European Commission, are considered necessary initiatives, under in light of the increasingly pressing need to effectively combat the serious and organized cross-border crime of migrant smuggling.

The Minister of Justice and Public Order participated as a speaker in a discussion panel on the prevention of illegal immigration, which was attended by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović, the Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime John Brandolino, Frontex Executive Director Hans Leijtens, as well as relevant Ministers from Italy, Belgium, Montenegro, Colombia, Lithuania, Egypt and Nigeria.

In her intervention, the Minister referred to the importance of close international cooperation between all countries, whether they are countries of origin, transit or destination, in order to effectively and comprehensively prevent this serious crime, which is directed by organized criminal networks, which they are very often linked to terrorism and the commission of other serious crimes.

The Minister also referred to the instrumentalization of illegal migration flows and the challenges Cyprus faces due to the Turkish occupation. He presented to the participants the way and the extent to which Cyprus is affected by the illegal trafficking of immigrants, both through the occupied territories from Turkey, and through the sea from Syria and Lebanon.

As a preventive measure, Mrs. Prokopiou suggested emphasizing the strict criminal consequences for traffickers and making use of the support offered by Eurojust. He also made special reference to the need to exploit technology, since it has been proven time and time again that trafficking networks use it for the purposes of communication and "promotion" of their illegal services.

At the same time, technology can be a means to properly inform potential victims of trafficking, preventing dangerous journeys. The Minister of Justice and Public Order emphasized the readiness of the Republic of Cyprus to work with its European and international partners to combat migrant smuggling.

Source: KYPE