On 6 and 7 July, IOM joined forces with the EU-funded Prometheus Project to organize a two-day course on curbing irregular migration from Georgia to the European Union.
Two specialized police investigators from France and Spain travelled to Tbilisi to engage with their Georgian colleagues from the Criminal Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office. The two experts shared insights into how police and prosecutors can deal effectively with the operations of organized crime that is behind the facilitation of illegal stay in EU Member States for third-country nationals. The crucial importance of international cooperation to share operational data and collect evidence was emphasized multiple times. In that context, the expanded network of Georgia’s Police Liaison Officers stationed in many EU Member States was highlighted as an important asset for the Georgian authorities to enhance their cooperation with their European colleagues.
The Georgian law enforcement used the opportunity to present three criminal investigations that have been conducted over the past two years based on Article 344-ii of the Criminal Code of Georgia. This article penalizes the facilitation rendered to citizens of Georgia for the purpose of their irregular entry and stay, as well as the lodging of unfounded asylum applications, in foreign countries.
This course has been organized as part of IOM’s Top-Up Facility to the SBMMG project, which is a multi-annual initiative funded by the European Union and aiming to support the Government of Georgia in maintaining full compliance with the visa-free travel benchmarks.