On 25 November 2021, in Kyiv, Ukraine, the European Union through its European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) and UNODC through its Global Firearms Programme (GFP) have organized a workshop on the detection of firearms in fast and postal parcels within the framework of Operation Armstrong.
Operation Armstrong implements the EU action plan on firearms trafficking 2020-2025 adopted by the European Commission in July 2020. During the operation, police and customs authorities in the participating countries carry out enhanced controls of suspicious parcels and postal shipments.
UNODC GFP has developed a comprehensive methodology on detection of firearms in fast and postal parcels and implements currently a project in Bosnia and Herzegovina supporting Customs, public and private post operators in the detection of illicit firearms, their parts, components and ammunition in fast and postal parcels. UNODC GFP has carried out a gap and needs analysis in Albania, Ukraine and North Macedonia on the same subject and plans to conduct also an assessment in Serbia and develop projects in these countries.
The workshop brought together representatives from Ukrainian customs, law enforcement, border guards and prosecutors. EMPACT Firearms shared information about the legal framework, strategy, organization, structure and operations of the Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats. Details of various operations implemented under EMPACT were presented as well as opportunities for benefiting from operational support provided by EMPACT.
The Action Leader of the Operation Armstrong has presented all relevant facts about the implementation of the operation. He has analysed the results from the operation held in 2020 and provided specific examples of how the operation was implemented at national levels. Representatives from Ukrainian institutions have presented updated figures on the seized firearms in fast and postal parcels and the investigation measures that have been carried out. It was concluded that EMPACT Firearms and UNODC GFP will continue cooperating on the Operation Armstrong and provide further information to interested third parties.
This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany.