Bucharest, October 25th 2016 - The 6th Pan- European High Level Conference on Assets Recovery Offices, organized by the Romanian National Agency for Management of Seized Assets was held in the period 19-21 October 2016, with the participation of experts in the field of recovery of proceeds of crime from EU and non-EU states, representatives from specialized Romanian institutions, as well as from several European agencies.
The aim of the conference was to discuss issues related to the identification and tracing of criminal assets and to share Member States’ practices on confiscation.
SELEC hosted one day of the conference, during which the Director General of SELEC, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, made an extensive presentation of SELEC, it’s mission, activities and results, highlighting that an effective regional law enforcement cooperation is essential for preventing and countering transborder organized crime in the Southeast European region.
On October 21st 2016, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, the Director General of SELEC received a delegation from the German Customs Investigation Bureau (ZKA), headed by President Norbert Drude.
Mr. Jakimovski mentioned about the current initiatives of the Center, the increasing number of exchanges of information and joint investigations, and the benefits of the SELEC work in the Southeast Europe.
It was underlined also the great support of Federal Republic of Germany to SELEC and its importance as partner of SELEC.
The President of ZKA confirmed that SELEC is offering an excellent platform for the swift exchange of information and networking, and ensured that they will continue to be an active collaborator at operational level.
Federal Republic of Germany is a long-term partner of the Center, currently holding an Observer status to SELEC.
On 19-21 October 2016, SELEC participated at the 4th Interpol Global Trafficking in Human Beings Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, conference which brought together law enforcement personnel (investigators, prosecutors and communicators), representatives of international organizations and NGOs.
The purpose of the conference was to support the understanding of new trends in trafficking in human beings, to promote and enhance international cooperation and to develop strategies to combat human trafficking worldwide.
“International organisations contribute to victim’s identification process on at least three main directions: drafting and compiling guidelines, concept papers and multinational strategies and policies; coordinating raising awareness and international advocacy and providing operational support to law enforcement authorities on concrete activities in the framework of investigations against trafficking in human beings. Acknowledging the impact of every moment of exploitation, reducing the trafficking period of time should be a priority for all the identification mechanisms in place, in a continuous process of improvement and adapting the actions of all the stakeholders” stated the Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu.
Bucharest, October 18th 2016 - Due to extent of Internet as a communication and commerce tool and the dynamic interconnections built globally, financial and computer crimes became a very serious problem with a strong negative impact on the economic and social environments, generating considerable losses to individuals, businesses and governments. Hence, the resilient cooperation among the law enforcement experts has an essential role in countering these serious and growing threats.
SELEC, in its constant effort to further enhance this collaboration, organized the annual meeting of the Financial and Computer Crime Task Force, which was held during 13 - 14 October 2016, in Ohrid/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with the participation of experts from SELEC Member States and representatives of the private sector.
The meeting was opened by the Director General of SELEC, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, the Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu and Mr. Oliver Andonov, Deputy Minister of Interior of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Mr. Jakimovski, SELEC Director General, mentioned about SELEC’s expertise and its endeavors in preventing an countering financial and computer crime, yet cybercrime is a fast-growing area of crime, new trends in cybercrime emerging continuously. SELEC’s role is of utmost importance, having in view that most cybercrimes are transnational. (read more)
On October 14, 2016, the Director General of SELEC, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, paid a visit to Republic of Albania, where he met with high officials of the Albanian State Police, Ministry of Interior and Customs Administration.
During the meeting with the Director of the Albanian State Police, Mr. Haki Cako, the Director of the General Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Serious Crimes, Mr. Ardian Cipa and the Director for Countering Terrorism, Mr. Gledis Nano, it was discussed the necessity to further enhance the cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism.
With this occasion, Mr. Jakimovski handed over to the Director of the Albanian State Police the Certificate of Appreciation related to the Operation BALKAN, which was awarded by SELEC with the First prize for the 1st semester of 2016.
The Director General of SELEC met also the Deputy Minister of Interior of Albania, Mr. Stefan CIPA who assured that the Albanian State Police will continue to support operationally the efforts in combating transborder organized crime. During the meeting it was highlighted the importance of a coordinated approach of the law enforcement authorities of the member states, in the framework of the SELEC Convention.
During the working visit in Republic of Albania, Mr. Jakimovski discussed about SELEC also with the Director General of Customs Administration, Ms. Belinda Ikonomi, who ensured the Director General of the entire support and underlined that all concerned actors should strive for a swift exchange of information which is one of the key factors in effectively prevent and fight organized crime.
As an appreciation for the excellent results obtained through the joint investigations supported by SELEC, the law enforcement authorities of SELEC Member States were awarded for the operations conducted during the first semester of 2016, as follows:
OPERATION BALKAN, a case in the field of drug trafficking involving the competent authorities from Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey, which led to the arrest of 28 persons including the organizer, arrest warrants issued for 13 persons and seizure of 26.684 kg heroin, 1.8 kg cocaine and 183.62 kg marijuana, 38,315 Euro, 1.5 million Leke, 4 weapons, 7 vehicles and 68 mobile phones. (read more)
Bucharest, 6th of October 2016 - On 4th of October 2016, SELEC organized the 6th meeting of the Environment and Nature Related Crimes, at its headquarters in Bucharest/Romania. The meeting, aiming to discuss the regional approaches in preventing and combating environment and nature related crimes and to enhance the cooperation at regional level, gathered experts from SELEC Member States and Partners, such as Belgium, Europol, France, Spain and Ukraine.
Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, SELEC Director for Operations and Mr. Endre Hosszu, Task Force Manager, briefed the participants about the activities carried out in the framework of the Environment and Nature Related Crimes Task Force and made an overview of the future expectations.
“When the environment and nature are harmed, the humanity is affected and we are all depending on our planet’s resources. The crimes against environment and nature are frequently linked to organized criminality. Therefore the need to address this issue is obvious and should be materialized in assertive and constant actions” stated the Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Ungureanu. (more)
In the period 29 - 30 September 2016, the Director General of SELEC, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, visited the law enforcement authorities of Police and Customs from Montenegro, being accompanied by Mr. Dejan Radusinovic, Montenegrin Liaison Officer at SELEC.
During the meeting with the Head of Montenegrin Police, Mr. Slavko Stojanovic, it was stressed out the good cooperation and the successful operations conducted by Montenegro and supported by SELEC. Mr. Jakimovski explained the possibilities of further enhancing the cooperation and increasing the information flow with other countries, through SELEC.
Mr. Jakimovski met also with the Director of the Customs, Mr. Vladan Jokovic. SELEC’s overall functioning and current activities were the topic of the discussions, Mr. Jakimovski encouraging the Customs Administration of Montenegro to be more cooperative and pro-active and make use of the advantages provided by SELEC’s network for a swift exchange of information and requests of assistance, as well as for developing and conducting joint investigations and regional operations.
Bucharest, September 29th 2016 - The 16th meeting of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force organized by SELEC was held during 27-28 September 2016, in Bucharest/ Romania, at the SELEC Headquarters.
The Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, and the Task Force co-Manager, Mr. Dorian Dingo, chaired the meeting and addressed the participants from all twelve SELEC Member States, experts from partner’ countries and organizations, such as EUBAM, French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Italian Republic, Kingdom of Spain and United States of America, as well as representatives of the private sector.
The scope of the meeting was discussing regional approaches in preventing and countering customs frauds, counterfeiting and smuggling, sharing challenges and good practices, networking and developing new partnerships with the aim of further enhancing regional cooperation in this field and setting up common directions to be followed in South Eastern Europe.
SELEC’s support to its Member States in the fight against customs frauds and smuggling was mentioned, as well as the activities developed in the past year within the framework of the Anti- Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force. Major joint investigations conducted by the Member States in this field, new trends, modus operandi and smuggling routes were presented by the law enforcement officers of SELEC Member States. (more)
Bucharest, September 21st, 2016 - The Director General of SELEC, Mr. Toni Jakimovski, received today at the SELEC Headquarters a courtesy visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Turkey in Bucharest, H.E. Mr. Osman Koray Ertas, accompanied by Mr. Murat Caliskan, Turkish Liaison Officer in SELEC.
The parties reiterated the commitment to further develop the cooperation, more particularly to enhance the information exchange in the framework of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, which was established in 2003 and is coordinated by Republic of Turkey.