Operation BELENOS: Illicit Cash Flows Targeted
8 January 2024 (updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago) // Published in printed Issue 4/2023
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 16 November 2023, the French Customs Authority and OLAF informed of the results from the joint customs cooperation BELENOS. The Operation targeted illicit flows of cash equal to or in excess of €10,000 entering or leaving the EU, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1672. Operation BELENOS was led by the French customs authorities in cooperation with the Spanish customs authorities and Europol as co-leaders; was carried out from 28 November to 11 December 2022 in 25 EU Member-States. OLAF and the European Commission (DG TAXUD) supported the Operation. The main results were as follows:

  • €18 million of illicit cash flows uncovered;
  • 400 cases of illicit accompanied and unaccompanied cash flows detected, including cases potentially linked to money laundering and to the sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine;
  • 420 persons targeted;
  • More than 330 administrative or judicial investigations initiated.

OLAF provided financial, analytical, technical and logistical support, including the use of a tool that enabled the secure exchange of information during the operation.

News Guide

EU OLAF Money Laundering Customs Cooperation


2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher