Statewatch article: RefNo# 29583
Portugal/EU: Navy opens fire on undercover Frontex mission
Statewatch News Online, January 2010
On 27 January 2010, the Portuguese Lusa press agency and Jornal de Noticias newspaper reported that Pegaso, a launch of the Portugese navy fired four machine gun rounds at a maritime police boat involved in an undercover coastal surveillance operation four miles off the coast of Salema under the auspices of Frontex. The rounds followed identification of the boat as "suspicious", although it later emerged that three maritime police officers were on board. The boat sped away before firing light signals that identified it as a police vessel. The region is deemed an area for the trafficking of drugs from north Africa to Europe.

The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF, Immigration and Border Service) and Armada (navy) did not comment, with the latter explaining that it does not discuss "issues of an operational nature". On 22 December 2009, Frontex reached a cooperation agreement in maritime surveillance with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), based in Lisbon, and the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA), based in Vigo (Spain) in the region of Galicia that is close to the Portuguese border. The agreement includes cooperation in the field of maritime surveillance to protect external maritime borders and for fisheries control. See: Jornal de Noticias, 27.1.2010, Cooperation agreement in maritime surveillance: Frontex news release, 22.12.09. And: Spanish EU Presidency - “Security problems at sea can only be solved if there is optimum collaboration on every level.” (link)

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