Microsoft Word - 2020.05.01_Final SIR Report_11095.2020 _final redacted

Dieses Dokument ist Teil der Anfrage „Frontex Surveillance Aircraft Sighting

1 Warsaw, 30 April 2020 FINAL SIR REPORT SIR incident: 11095/2020: FORMAL SIR – Frontex Surveillance Aircraft’s Sighting in Eastern Aegean 1. Executive summary Serious Incident      There is no Frontex Human Resources or Technical Equipment involved in the Serious Incident Code of Conduct         N/A – Hellenic Coast Guard asset involved in the Serious Incident is not considered as a participant in the Frontex activities (RBI/JO) 2. Scope of the report Report consists a collection of information related to the SI: 11095/2020: FORMAL SIR – Frontex Surveillance Aircrafts Sighting in Eastern Aegean gathered by the Serious Incident Coordinator (SI- Coordinatror) till 30/04/2020. As an administrative fact-finding exercise determines whether a Serious Incident has occurred and provides an assessment of the situation with explicite focus on the elements described in SIR Standard Operating Procedure. 3. Mission plnning and mission execution                                                                       Commented [KB1]: The non-disclosed parts refer to details of the operational area and cannot be released. As ongoing operations tend to cover similar operational areas as the operations conducted in preceding years, disclosing details of previous operational areas would be tantamount to disclosing the current state of play. This would provide smuggling and other criminal networks with intelligence, enabling them to change their modus operandi, which would ultimately put the life of migrants in danger. Consequently, the course of ongoing and future operations of similar nature would be hampered by depriving the operations of any strategy and element of surprise, ultimately defeating their purpose to counter and prevent cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In this light, the disclosure of documents containing such information would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security in the sense of Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 . Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01
4. Description of the event Chronological order (Zulu time) of events occurred on 18-19/04/2020 in which the Frontex Surveillance Aircraft intervened while performing a surveillance flight between the Greek and Turkish maritime border near the island of Lesvos: DATE TIME                                                      EVENT                                     Commented [KB2]: The non-disclosed parts refer to details of the operational area and cannot be released. As ongoing operations tend to 18.04.2020 22:55 hrs            Frontex contracted aircraft (METIS) took off from MYTILENE airport (LGMT) and cover similar operational areas as the operations conducted was directed to investigate an incident at 39°26’45’’N 026°26’21’’E.              in preceding years, disclosing details of previous operational areas would be tantamount to disclosing the current state of 18.04.2020 22:58 hrs            Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) Sea Border Expert, based in International              play. This would provide smuggling and other criminal networks with intelligence, enabling them to change their Coordination Centre (ICC) Piraeus informed FSC Team Leader about an incident      modus operandi, which would ultimately put the life of north of Lesvos (39° 26’ 45’’N – 026° 26’ 21’’E) asking to reach the point.       migrants in danger. Consequently, the course of ongoing and future operations of similar nature would be hampered by depriving the operations of any strategy and element of 18.04.2020 23:05 hrs            METIS sighted a migrant boat in vicinity of (IVO) 39°25’N 026°23’E, stopped with  surprise, ultimately defeating their purpose to counter and approximately 20-30 Persons On Board (POB). There were 2 HCG and 1 Turkish        prevent cross-border crime and unauthorized border Coast Guard (TCG) patrol vessel in close attendance. The migrant boat was taken   crossings. In this light, the disclosure of documents containing such information would undermine the protection of the under tow by an HCG vessel heading 025° at 3kts. public interest as regards public security in the sense of Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. 18.04.2020 23:22 hrs            FSC Team Leader sends the Early Warning report to the competent Greek Authorities (incident inside Greek Territorial Waters (TW) - Two HCG patrol The non-disclosed parts contain information regarding the technical equipment deployed in the operational area by boats and one TCG are in the vicinity of the target).                             Frontex and Member States. Disclosing such information would be tantamount to disclosing the exact type and 18.04.2020 23:38 hrs            HCG Sea Border Expert instructed Metis to resume normal patrolling. At            capabilities of the equipment and would enable third parties, e.g. by combining this information with other sources, to 23:46Z, METIS reached WP-A, NEXT turned towards WP-B.                             draw conclusions regarding usual positions and movement patterns. This would open way for abuse, as numbers and 19.04.2020 00:03 hrs            HCG patrol vessel was observed in vicinity of (IVO) 39°24’N 026°24’E having types of equipment used in previous operations are indicative of similar numbers and types for succeeding years. Releasing taken the migrants on board and towing the empty rubber boat.                     such information would thus benefit criminal networks, enabling them to change their modus operandi and, 19.04.2020 00:06 hrs            HCG Sea Border Expert asks METIS to fly south, contrary to flight schedule to fly consequently, result in hampering the course of ongoing and future operations of a similar nature. This would ultimately south-east.                                                                       obstruct the purpose of such operations: to counter and prevent cross-border crime and unauthorized border 19.04.2020 00:23 hrs            METIS passed WP-B and continued towards WP-C. At 0027, METIS was directed crossings. In this light, the disclosure of information regarding the technical equipment deployed would undermine the to reverse track for de-confliction. protection of the public interest as regards public security in the sense of Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 19.04.2020 00:34 hrs            METIS passed WP-B and continued towards WP-A.                                     1049/2001 . 19.04.2020 01:04 hrs            METIS turned at WP-A to reverse track. At 0135, METIS passed WP-B towards WP- C. 19.04.2020 01:42 hrs            METIS was directed to reverse track for de-confliction and continued towards WP-B. 19.04.2020 01:47 hrs            METIS passed WP-B and continued towards WP-A. At 0221, METIS turned at WP- A. 19.04.2020 02:40 hrs            METIS imaged HCG patrol vessel reloading the migrants onto the rubber boat IVO 39°15’N 026°32’E. A nearby RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) then took the rubber boat on tow hdg 051° at 2.5kts towards Turkish Territorial Waters. 19.04.2020 02:43 hrs            METIS affirms that nearby the rubber boat with migrants on board there are no TCG vessels, only Greek HCG. 19.04.2020 02:46 hrs            METIS takes a picture of a Greek patrol vessel towing the rubber boat with migrants on board towards Turkish Territorial Waters with course 051°. HCG Sea Border Expert requests to fly North. Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01
19.04.2020 02:57 hrs            HCG Sea Border Experts sends instructions to fly northbound for the remaining Commented [KB3]: The non-disclosed part contains 30 min of flight, when the FSC Team Leader asks if there is any specific reason detailed information on the means of communication used by to fly north the reply is “negative”.                                            law enforcement officials. The disclosure of this information would put law enforcement officials’ work in jeopardy and harm the course of future and ongoing operations aimed at 19.04.2020 03:15 hrs            METIS declared BINGO (fuel limitation time) and began to RTB (Return to Base). curtailing the activities of organized criminal networks Its final image showed the migrant boat adrift IVO 39°16’N 026°35’E.             involved in the smuggling and migrants and trafficking in human beings. As the disclosure of such pieces of information would undermine the protection of the public interest as 19.04.2020 03:21 hrs            METIS communicates that the rubber boat has no engine and it is adrift at regards public security, it must therefore be refused as laid 39°16’N 026°35’E. Greek assets are departing the area leaving the rubber boat down in Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. adrift. The non-disclosed parts refer to details of the operational 19.04.2020 03:30 hrs            METIS landed at LGMT (Mitilini airport).                                         area and cannot be released. As ongoing operations tend to cover similar operational areas as the operations conducted in preceding years, disclosing details of previous operational 19.04.2020 04:48 hrs            FSC Team Leader proposes to HCG Sea Border Expert to divert TASTY, aerial        areas would be tantamount to disclosing the current state of asset already airborne, to check the rubber boat. HCG Sea Border Expert replies: play. This would provide smuggling and other criminal networks with intelligence, enabling them to change their “Negative. Tasty will continue its normal route”. modus operandi, which would ultimately put the life of migrants in danger. Consequently, the course of ongoing and N/A                             Once Frontex aircraft had landed, FSC Team Leader offers a second flight to      future operations of similar nature would be hampered by Greek authorities to collaborate with the mentioned SAR being rejected the aid   depriving the operations of any strategy and element of surprise, ultimately defeating their purpose to counter and on the grounds that the Turkish Coast Guard had assumed the coordination of      prevent cross-border crime and unauthorized border the incident.                                                                    crossings. In this light, the disclosure of documents containing such information would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security in the sense of 19.04.2020 09:38 hrs            Ho.CCO informed the Operational Manager of JO Poseidon about the sighting and    Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. requested to collect the additional information from the ICC. The non-disclosed parts contain information regarding the technical equipment deployed in the operational area by 19.04.2020 10:00 hrs            Frontex Coordinating Officer (FCO) contacted the ICC coordinator by the phone:   Frontex and Member States. Disclosing such information informed about the incident and requested for the position of the HCG on the     would be tantamount to disclosing the exact type and incident. ICC coordinator initially did not provide any reply, instead requested capabilities of the equipment and would enable third parties, a written report with all the facts to be considered internally by the HCG.      e.g. by combining this information with other sources, to draw conclusions regarding usual positions and movement patterns. This would open way for abuse, as numbers and 19.04.2020 15:55 hrs            Greek Authorities informed that according to information received, that same     types of equipment used in previous operations are indicative morning the rubber boat landed safely on the Turkish shores under the            of similar numbers and types for succeeding years. Releasing such information would thus benefit criminal networks, monitoring of a Turkish Coast Guard vessel.                                      enabling them to change their modus operandi and, consequently, result in hampering the course of ongoing and future operations of a similar nature. This would ultimately obstruct the purpose of such operations: to counter and prevent cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In this light, the disclosure of information regarding the technical equipment deployed would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security in the sense of Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 . The non-disclosed part contains detailed information regarding the modus operandi of law enforcement officials performing border control [and/or coast guard duties]. Disclosing such information would expose the working methods applied in ongoing and future operations, thus obstructing their effectiveness in prevention of cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In consequence, it would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security and thus, cannot be disclosed pursuant to Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01
5. Timeline analysis                                                                                                      Commented [KB4]: The non-disclosed part contains detailed information regarding the modus operandi of law 05:53z           enforcement officials performing border control [and/or FSA            coast guard duties]. Disclosing such information would expose Team            the working methods applied in ongoing and future 23:38Z                              02:43Z                                              Leader           operations, thus obstructing their effectiveness in prevention HCG                                 FSA                                               propos Sea                               aircraft                                              es a           of cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In Border                              affirms                                             second           consequence, it would undermine the protection of the public Expert                               that             02:57Z                            flight          interest as regards public security and thus, cannot be 23:05Z              cleared           00:06Z            nearby               HCG                              with           disclosed pursuant to Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation FSA                 FSA               HCG               the                SBE                               the (EC) No 1049/2001. spots a             aircraft            SBE             rubber              sends                            same 22:55Z          rubber                 to               asks             boat,            instruct                          aircraft Beginni          boat               resume              FSA              there             ions to                            that ng of            with              normal            aircraft          are no                fly          03:30Z           spotte the            20-30              patrolli           to fly             TCG              northb          End of            d the flight           pob                  ng              south            vessels             ound            flight           event 22:58Z            23:22Z             00:03Z             02:37Z            02:46            03:23Z          04:48Z            08:39z Inform              FSA                FSA                FSA              FSA               FSA               FSA             ICC ation             Team              aircraft           METIS            aircraft          commu            Team             refuses from             Leader             observ            imaged             takes            nicates         Leader              the HCG              sends             es and               that           picture             that          propos            second SBE              early              sends            migran                of              the             es to            sortie about            warnin             picture             ts are           Greek            rubber             HCG            propos an               g to                of             transfe            patrol             boat          SBE to             ed by inciden           Greek               patrol           rred on            vessel           has no           divert             FSC t north          authori               boat              board           towing            engine          anothe of               ties             towing             rubber              the             and is               r Lesvos                                  an                boat           rubber             adrift         aircraft empty                                 boat                             (at tht rubber                                with                               time boat                              migran                              flying ts                              close toward                                 to s TTW.                            Samos) to check the rubber boat. HCG SBE replies negativ ely 6. Information gathered within the frame of the Serious Incident: 11095/2020 Commented [KB5]: The non-disclosed part contains a)     HCG patrol boat involved in the incident is not co-financed by Frontex.                                       detailed information regarding the modus operandi of law enforcement officials performing border control [and/or b)     HCG assets on the scene were not operational assets of the JO Poseidon 2020 or RBI Aegean coast guard duties]. Disclosing such information would expose 2020.                                                                                                         the working methods applied in ongoing and future c)     There is no co-financed host MS CPB deployed.                                                                 operations, thus obstructing their effectiveness in prevention d)     The ICC Piraeus was represented by the Hellenic Coast Guard Sea Border Expert (SBE), having                   of cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In consequence, it would undermine the protection of the public both: law enforcement and search & rescue function. This profile is usually deployed to the                   interest as regards public security and thus, cannot be Frontex Situation Center (FSC) European Monitoring Room but due to the COVID-19 restrictions,                 disclosed pursuant to Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation SBE was based in the ICC Piraeus. SBE is also responsible for the operational communication                   (EC) No 1049/2001. with the ICC Piraeus or JRCC in case of any Search & Rescue (SAR) event. SBE representation The non-disclosed parts contain information regarding the is part of the coordination of the deployment of the Frontex coordinated aircrafts, not directly              number and profiles of officers deployed in the operational coordination part of the Joint Operation/Rapid Border Intervention.                                           area. Disclosing such information would be tantamount to e)     Before each flight, the Sea Border Expert representing the ICC participates in a pre-briefing                 disclosing the weaknesses and strengths of Frontex operations and pose a risk to their effectiveness. As a result, the course when the Operation Order (OPORD) is defined. For flights taking place within the Joint                        of ongoing and future similar operations would be hampered, Operation, the exact flight plan and the schedule of the mission are always pre-approved by                   ultimately defeating their purpose to counter and prevent the ICC. The Sea Border Expert approved the OPORD on the base of ICC instructions.                            cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. Consequently, the disclosure of such information would f)     The flight was scheduled by the ICC Piraeus and it was conducted inside the JO Poseidon                       undermine the protection of the public interest as regards Operational Area.                                                                                             public security as laid down Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 . Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01
g)  The HCG expert giving instructions was a Hellenic Coast Guard Sea Border Expert (SBE) nominated for the purpose of coordinationg FSC flight. h) The asset involved in the SI was under a direct command of the HCG. i) The Frontex Coordinating Officer together with a Frontex Operational Manager were informed by FSC on 19.04.2020 around 08:00 hrs, with the request to collect all the additional information about the incident from the ICC. FCO contacted by phone the ICC coordinator and            Commented [KB6]: The non-disclosed part contains informed about the incident, at the same time requesting a statement/report from the HCG               detailed information on the means of communication used by with regard the incident in question. ICC coordinator initially did not provide any reply, later       law enforcement officials. The disclosure of this information would put law enforcement officials’ work in jeopardy and on requested a written report with all the facts to be considered internally by the HCG. The           harm the course of future and ongoing operations aimed at reply is still pending from the HCG.                                                                   curtailing the activities of organized criminal networks j) The mission report of the asset was sent to HCG on 22/04/2020 at 15:41 hrs by FSC.                      involved in the smuggling and migrants and trafficking in human beings. As the disclosure of such pieces of information k) FSC proposed Head of Field Deployment Unit to be act as the Serious Incident Coordinator (SI-           would undermine the protection of the public interest as Coordinator).                                                                                          regards public security, it must therefore be refused as laid l) SI-Coordinator – coordinated the collection of information by requesting all the relevant               down in Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. information and intelligence concerning the SIR incident: 11095/2020: FORMAL SIR – Frontex Surveillance Aircraft’s Sighting in Eastern Aegean, including the exchange of communications.          The non-disclosed part contains detailed information m) SI-Coordinator requested support of FSC and FDU (OIS): demanding the timline analysis and               regarding the modus operandi of law enforcement officials asked to keep track on the actions taken (logs).                                                       performing border control [and/or coast guard duties]. Disclosing such information would expose the working methods applied in ongoing and future operations, thus obstructing their effectiveness in prevention of cross-border crime and unauthorized border crossings. In consequence, it 7. Additional information related to the Serious Incident and undertook                                        would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security and thus, cannot be disclosed actions                                                                                                    pursuant to Article 4(1)(a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. a)  On 29/04/2020 Frontex Coordinating Officer requested formal information/statement from the Greek authorities setting up a deadline on 30/04/2020 EOB. b)  On 30/04/2020 16:40 hrs Frontex Coordinating Officer received on behalf of the Operational Cooperation Unit an answer form the Integrated Maritime Surveillance Bureau Hellenic Coast Guard HQ as regards the circumstances of the event that took place on 19/04/2020 as following: According to the Greek authorites the circumstances decribed in the SI involved a boat carrying a number of people which was first sighted by a Frontex participating unit in Turkish territorial waters. The Turkish authorities were promptly informed and the Hellenic Coast Guard authorities took the appropriate measures to address the illegal border crossing of the persons onboard the boat. To this end the Greek authorities undertook all the necessary steps and decided the course of action, including appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the persons concerned, in conformity with the international law and the European legislation. In this context, the situation ended with the efficient on the field coordination between the Greek and the Turkish authorities. All these actions, in full compliance with international law, were conducted smoothly, without raising any complaints nor objection, while each side assumed its responsibilities. The above actions, considering the difficulties of such situations at sea, were carried out in full respect of the rights of all parties involved. Moreover the need to intensify the efforts for the prevention of unauthorized border crossings due to serious health risks related to the COVID 19 outbreak was taken under consideration. This constitutes the complete full picture of the event which occurred on 19 April 2020, and is provided in order to avoid any misconception that might arise from fragmented and incomplete information on the matter. c)  All the information collected within the frame of SI are stored and loged by FSC. Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01
8. Assessment a)     Frontex Coordinating Officer responsible for JO Poseidon 2020 and RBI Aegean supported the information gathering in relation to the SI in close coopearation with Frontex Situation Center (FSC) and SI-Coordinator to ensure proper and timely transmission of the information, for further monitor situations and to subsequently report SI to FSC. b)     All the appriopate reporting channels were followed as specified in the respective Operational Plan. c)     Most of the available information collected came from the Frontex Situation Center (FSC) concidered as a recognised and reliable source of data. Information provided is accurate and precise, supported by the preserved surveillance camera footages.1 Information collected by the HCG are reflected in the correspondence with FSC2 and FDU: response to the the Frontex Coordinating Officer’s request. d)     Based on the initial information it is suspected that the incident has characteristics of a case of an unprocessed return and violation of the principle of non-refoulement. 9. Final conclusion a)     Information collected within the framework of SI, including the Frontex Survillance Asset camera footage, proved that no Frontex asset or Frontex co-financed asset was involved in the Serious Incident. b) However, due to the nature of the incident and taking into consideration the complexity of the situation where migrants were safe when they were on board the patrol vessel and then placed back in the rubber boat, put again in a distress situation and left adrift without means of propulsion (the engine was missing on the rubber boat when it was left drifting in the Turkish TTW3) there is a strong believe that presented facts support an allegation of possible violation of Fundamental Rights or international protection obligations such as the principle of non- refoulment. 10.            Way forwad a)     To address HCG with an official letter requesting to lunch an internal investigation. b)     To coordinate the possible follow up measures on the SI in cooperation with the respective MS authorities, if applicable. c)     To send a Final SIR to the FSC Senior Duty Officer; attached to the respective SIR in JORA and to close the SI in JORA. 1 All surveillance camera footage is the property of the Hellenic authorities in accordance with the Operational Plan/MASS/FASS Framework Contract. 2 Request for continuation of the flight, which was rejected by the HCG, and the information provided by the HCG, informing FSC about the landing of the migrants at the Turkish coast. 3 FSC Mission Report, p. 11 Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency www.frontex.europa.eu | Pl. Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland | Tel. +48 22 205 95 00 | Fax +48 22 205 95 01