Simulated Counter-Smuggling Exercise Takes Place in Bosnia

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 Mar 18, 2020

IOM's Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina last week organized a two-day bilateral simulation/desktop exercise on joint cross border operation for countering smuggling of migrants for officers from border police forces, crime investigation units and migration officers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The two-day event was dedicated to strengthening capacities of front line officers and investigation officers to detect, identify and investigate organized crime groups dealing with migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, by applying practical work to the real-life case scenario developed specifically for the exercise.

22 participants from both countries appreciated the practical aspect of the simulation/desktop exercise allowing for the transfer of knowledge on important elements of combating this global phenomenon from international angle. The training was provided by international expert Ben Nicholls, former Senior Migration Inspector and former Europol and Frontex, with regional as well as regional experiences provided by Sando Kitanov, former Chief of Department for combating organized crime including smuggling of migrants and trafficking, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republic of North Macedonia.

“It was a great pleasure to deliver this two-day interactive desktop exercise. The delegates from both countries impressed me with their commitment and professional approach to a wide range of topics associated with irregular migration, and demonstrated an enthusiastic willingness to absorb and debate fresh ideas and concepts”, Mr. Nicholls stated after the event.

“The law enforcement participants had an opportunity to improve and extend their knowledge regarding the current trends in mixed migration flows in the region and in the broader context," assessed Mr. Kitanov during the simulation.

The simulation/desktop exercise was organized, as a first of planned two simulations, under the regional project “Countering Smuggling of Migrants along the Western Balkan Coastal Route” financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Norway and dedicated to strengthening cross border cooperation in countering this global phenomenon in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. For more information, please contact Edita Selimbegović at