Support to Counter Illicit Arms Trafficking

The Roadmap project “Support to counter Illicit arms trafficking” strengthened the capacities of border entities to detect firearms, ammunition and explosives and conduct detailed risk profiling through specialized training, improved weapons registration, provision of detection equipment, and development of knowledge products. The sub-project was developed on the best practices of the previous CIAT project implemented in BiH and was adapted to the context of Kosovo*, using a holistic approach of people, processes and technology.

The sub-project addressed various challenges related to illicit arms trafficking in Kosovo, including challenges in controlling the green border and a lack of specialized equipment, fewer detections of firearms at the border compared to inland firearm seizures, and an increase in blank firing weapons (converted or not) showing that some trafficking routes are still open and illegal imports not always detected.

The project contributed to Roadmap Goals 2, 3, 5, 7.

Key results achieved:

  • The sub-project supported the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to develop and put in use a new Weapons Registration software. The software was interlinked with databases in different institutions, as prescribed by the Law on Weapons and regulatory frameworks. As such, it enables the MoI to collect and exchange information on firearms, including data on private companies that sell firearms, on the legalization process, destruction of firearms, etc. 15 (9 men and 6 women) police officers and officials from the MoI and private entities dealing with FAE import/export were trained on the new system’s use.
  • The sub-project selected, procured, and trained five K9 dogs to detect weapons made of polymer materials. The dogs were selected by a three-member panel created by the Kosovo Police who travelled to Croatia together with two members of the project team to test the dogs. 24 dogs were tested by the Kosovo Police K9 Instructors and 5 dogs were selected (2 more than initially planned, as the project could accommodate the cost). In close cooperation with the Kosovo Police training division, the Police’s K9 unit prepared a programme designed to train the dogs in sniffing polymer material made weapons. The dogs were trained by K9 instructors during 380 hours of training, along with 40 police officers. They were certified by a 5-member inspection/monitoring panel and distributed to K9 operators at the border crossing points and green border lines.
  • The project further enhanced the capacities and knowledge of border police and customs on the FAE detection and on border surveillance. A series of specialized training session were provided:
    • 31 border police and customs officers (30 men and 1 woman) took part in the specialized training on the detection of FAE. The participants were introduced to innovative detection techniques, handling of crime scene investigation including cooperation with all bodies to ensure evidence is secured and processed efficiently. The training provided a hands-on simulation exercise where the participants were able to demonstrate newly learned skills; including the use of specialized equipment and techniques (flexible cameras, scanners, K9 dogs).
    • In addition, 30 border and customs officers and representatives of the Academy for Public Safety (all men), passed through the specialized training for green border patrol and surveillance. Through simulated exercises, participants gained and applied knowledge on surveillance of green borders and coordination as related to illicit trafficking. The activity served as an opportunity to assess existing SOPs to ensure that they are in line with terrain and existing risks and threats.
    • Furthermore, 40 police and customs officials (9 women and 31 men) were trained on the detection of firearms, their components, and ammunition in postal and fast parcels.
  • Following the border vulnerability assessment conducted within the project, the project team identified and provided necessary equipment for the BCPs and the green border line. The border police were equipped accordingly with 7 specialized endoscopes, 5 handheld explosive and narcotics detectors, 1 handheld thermal camera, and 9 handheld scanners, aimed to improve the detection of arms trafficking. 40 border police officers in total (36 men and 4 women) were trained in using the new equipment. The equipment was also successfully used during the joint exercise conducted within the project.
  • A joint top table exercise (TTX) on detecting, identifying, seizing potential illicit arms at border crossings, followed by a real joint operation were conducted with 18 police and customs officials. The operation relied on the specialized equipment provided by the project.
  • In order to enhance risk profiling based on the Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model (CIRAM 2.0) at the border crossings, the project implemented a set of initiatives. In close cooperation with the Kosovo Police Training Department, the project supported individual and institutional capacity development in the field of risk analysis at the border crossing points and the green border lines.
    • The first training on CIRAM 2 enabled 43 representatives from the Firearms Focal Point, Border Police, Customs and Centre for Border Management to enhance knowledge and capacities on on effective risk analyses, Integrated Border Management and detailed CIRAM 2.0 model (Risk, Threat, Impact), including through practical exercises. Following the positive feedback and upon the request from border management, another training was conducted for 11 FFP, border and customs officials.
    • Two sets of risk analysis package IBase and I2Analyst Notebook[1] were provided to the Centre for Border Management and the Border Police Risk Analysis Unit, to enhance their risk and threat assessments. The iBase and Analyst Notebooks have helped increase the collection of information, enabled risk analyses at border crossing points and green border lines and helped produce intelligence reports on detection of illicit arms trafficking.
    • The training on development of problem profile on illicit arms trafficking and the on the problem profile at green border based on pull and push factors were organized back-to-back for 15 participants representing border police analysts, customs officers, and the Centre for Border Management. The two trainings provided the participants with a detailed insight into crime trends, and a vehicle for the application of one or more analytical techniques to identified problems.
  • Finally, three knowledge products were finalized, tackling the border police vulnerability assessment, problem profile and trend analysis, and a report on the use of K9 in detecting firearms.

Budget: US$987,412

Implementing period: September 2019 – August 2022

[1] iBase, an intuitive intelligence data management application, enables the capturing, control, and analysis of multi-source data in security-rich workgroup environments. iBase and Analyst Notebook combine rich analysis and visualization capabilities with dissemination tools enabling the Centre for Border Management to further expand its analysis of crimes related to illegal and illicit firearms trafficking.