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On the external terrestrial border between Slovenia and Croatia and Hungary and Serbia, the fourth of five of this year's phases of the joint operation Neptun 2009 organised by the Frontex agency was concluded on 14 October 2009.

For a period of two weeks, Slovenia hosted ten foreign police officers from Hungary, Austria, Romania, Germany, Italy and Estonia, and four police officers from Croatia, with whom Frontex agency (agency for the management of operational cooperation at external borders of Member States of the EU) concluded a special cooperation agreement.


Slovenian police officers and their colleague from Estonia

The visiting police officers together with Slovenian ones performed tasks of protecting the green border with Croatia; namely, in the area of Maribor and Krško Police Directorates, where the most illegal crossings of the state border were detected in 2008.

Namely, the purpose of Neptun 2009 operation is to strengthen the control of external EU borders. Police officers have been checking illegal work and unauthorised extended stays in EU countries, falsified documents and stolen vehicles. Furthermore, with reinforced border control, hidden persons in vehicles, especially cargo vehicles, are being discovered, which prevents illegal migrations on the so-called green border.


In the photo (from the left) Slovenian and Romanian police offers

The recent operation was also successful. In 14 days, 12 illegal migrants who had illegally crossed the state border were discovered. Furthermore, three guides were also arrested who helped in two cases the aliens to illegally cross the state border. Domestic and foreign police officers exchanged information relevant for operational work in the area of protection of state borders and obtained useful experience, which will be welcome in similar joint operations in the future.


Frontex has a list of around 600 police officers from individual Member States, who are highly qualified for various forms of controlling the state border, and were in their countries appointed to be placed on this list. These police officers are dressed in uniforms of their national police; however, due to recognisability they wear a band with the name and sign of the Frontex agency. They are armed with weapons that can be used in the host country also by domestic police officers. Moreover, they can use weapons and force only with the agreement and in the presence of domestic police officers; without the agreement, weapons and force can be used only in extreme cases.