Frontex chief struck hard after pushback reports resigned

Fabrice Leggeri, director of the European border security agency Frontex, has resigned. The organization is accused of illegally returning immigrants trying to cross the external borders of the European Union.

Leggeri has been running Frontex since 2015 and has been under fire for years. Lawmakers and aid organizations have criticized media reports of illegal returns, in which migrants are forcibly returned to the border. This is against EU immigration rules.

Frontex has always denied all allegations in this regard. An earlier investigation by the European Parliament did not provide any concrete evidence of involvement in illegal refoulements.

The reason for Leggeris’s departure is an investigation by the European fraud agency OLAF, specifically into the return of migrants to the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. OLAF’s report is not yet publicly available, so its contents are not yet known.

Leggeri resigned yesterday and the board voted in favor today. In this way he got rid of a disciplinary file that got him into trouble. OLAF’s investigation also focused on employee misconduct and financial misconduct.

Abuse images shown

At the end of 2020, APs already demanded the resignation of the Frontex leader. Reports of illegal refoulement piled up. Personnel are said to have repeatedly watched and even been involved in the return of asylum seekers at sea between Greece and Turkey.

Investigative journalists from Dutch Pointer and Lighthouse Reports, among others, showed images of pushbacks in Croatia at the end of last year. Refugees were returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina by masked police.

Immigrants are also sent back to the Polish border:

Source: NOS