Publicat în: Journal Of Eastern European Criminal Law no. 1/2016

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Abstract: The wars that have been fought in the Middle East countries for the past few years have led to the fact that a large number of refugees from war-affected areas moved towards the countries of Western Europe in 2015, seeking asylum and a chance for a better life. The Republic of Serbia, due to its geographical position, is one of the countries located along the so-called Balkan route, through which 764.000 of refugees passed in 2015. The large flow of people has led to a great opportunity for circumvention of the system and has created a fertile ground for the growth of all forms of crime, particularly the smuggling of migrants, enabling the illegal crossing of the state border without adherence to and compliance with the necessary requirements for the legal entry into the country of reception. Given the number of countries through which the migrants pass, this type of crime has stepped out of the national framework and has taken on international proportions. The fight against this form of organized and international crime requires the engagement and coordinated functioning of all state authorities. One of the state bodies with serious capacities to combat this type of crime is the Customs Administration where, within its Centre for Customs Enforcement, there is also the Department for Fighting against Smuggling. The results of the work of Department for Fighting against Smuggling are certainly visible and do exist, but the Customs Service, with all its organizational units has much bigger and under-utilized potential for detecting and combating the most serious forms of crime, particularly smuggling, and surely deserves a bigger role than it now has in the overall system of the security of the Republic of Serbia.

Keywords: Migrants; Customs Service; crime; smuggling; coordinated action.