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Workshop on Tackling Drug Trafficking

Sarajevo/ Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23-25 September 2014 - A Workshop on Tackling Drug Trafficking was organized by SELEC with the financial support of US/EUCOM in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 23rd - 25th of September 2014.

The purpose of the training was to highlight best practices in building large investigations and following the proceeds to increase the rates of a successful criminal forfeiture, as well as to strengthen and improve information sharing, joint investigations, regional operations, trans-border controlled deliveries and interdiction of illicit drug trafficking throughout Southeast Europe.

The training provided a platform for discussions and sharing of specific procedures to better understand all aspects involved in this types of investigations from both perspectives (law enforcement and prosecution).

During the event, 65 experts from SELEC Member States - law enforcement representatives and prosecutors, and US representatives  - DOJ OPDAT, DEA, EUCOM, Marshall Service and US Attorney, came together to discuss advanced forfeiture investigations and money laundering activities related to drug trafficking cases as well as practical issues and aspects of cross-border illicit drug trafficking.

Successful Operation in the Field of Cigarettes Smuggling

The Operation “JOKER” was carried out by the Ministry of Interior from Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Croatia, with significant support provided by SELEC. Also Police investigators from Montenegro and Republic of Serbia provided useful information at the beginning of the operation.

In the period January - September 2014, according to the evidences obtained by the investigators during the Operation “JOKER”, the members of an organized crime group smuggled over 350,000 packs of cigarettes and several tons of tobacco, from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Republic of Croatia (over Sava River).

At the beginning of September, the investigators from Banja Luka/ Bosnia and Herzegovina searched 21 locations and arrested 14 persons, suspected of committing several crimes such as: cigarettes smuggling, tax evasion and illicit trade. During the search, the Police seized mobile phones, computers, SIM cards carriers, 10,000 Euro in cash, 3 cars (1 Grand Cherokee and 2 VW Passat), 1 gun CZ 6.35 mm, bigger quantity of different kind of cigarettes, 2.5 tons of  tobacco, 500 kg of cardboard packing for cigarettes and 2 machines for the manufacture of cigarettes.

At the same time, during the operation, the Croatian investigators seized several shipments of cigarettes, based on information provided by the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Srpska’s investigators. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS BECOME OPERATIONAL PARTNER OF SELEC

BUCHAREST, September 9, 2014 - "The collaborative role the U.S. has played in the development of our organization from the very beginning enabled SELEC to obtain a stronger regional identity, in terms of law enforcement cooperation" stated Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General of SELEC, on the occasion of the Ceremony for Signing the Cooperation Agreement between SELEC and the United States of America, which took place on 9th of September 2014, in Bucharest, at the Center's premises.

The United States of America has been granted the Operational Partner status with SELEC on 29th of May 2014, during the 8th Session of the SELEC Council.

The purpose of this Agreement is to facilitate the use of the SELEC platform by the United States of America together with the law enforcement agencies of the SELEC Member States in their collective actions to prevent and combat trans-border criminality and provides an effective framework for joint efforts in ensuring regional stability.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State, Hoyt B. Yee, commended SELEC for its critical and active contributions to the stability of the region. „SELEC is a cornerstone law enforcement organization that has greatly strengthened U.S. and European cooperation in Southeastern Europe since its founding in 1999”, DAS Hoyt B. Yee stated.

Mr. Bahadir expressed his belief that the Agreement will facilitate maintaining the good cooperation between SELEC and the United States of America and also will reiterate their joint commitment in preventing and combating global and regional threats such as terrorism, money laundering and other forms of serious and organized criminality in order to offer a more secure environment to the citizens.

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News and Events

Visit of the Turkish Delegation

Bucharest, September 23, 2014 - A delegation from the Turkish National Police led by Mr. Ahmet Sonat, Head of the Witness Protection Department, visited SELEC premises, being welcomed by Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General of SELEC.

Mr. Bahadir briefed the guests on the SELEC’s institutional building and operational activities, as well as on the achievements of the organization, mentioning several success stories that proved once again the efficient cooperation between police and customs authorities of the Member States under the Center’s auspices. 


Working Visit

Bucharest, September 9, 2014 – A group of 17 US officers acting in the field of rule of law programs from countries/organizations from the Balkans and EUCOM visited SELEC Headquarters and were welcomed by the SELEC Management (Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General, Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, and Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs). The US delegation was accompanied by Ms. Monica Custura, USDOJ/ OPDAT Legal Advisor at SELEC.

The guests were briefed about the activities of the Center and best practice examples of police and customs cooperation in the region, as well as about the activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG. The Liaison Officers at SELEC also attended the meeting for an open dialogue related to law enforcement cooperation, programs and common interests in the region.

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Working Visit

Bucharest, September 2, 2014 – Through the European Judicial Training Network exchange programme, the Italian Prosecutor Giancarlo Ferrucci visited SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/ Romania, being welcomed by Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, SELEC Director for Legal and Internal Affairs.

The representatives from the Embassy of Italian Republic, Mr. Antonio Perrotta, Advisor to SELEC, and Mr. Ruggero Gianfelici, Liaison Officer, also attended the meeting jointly organized with the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania.

SEEPAG Secretariat briefed Mr. Ferrucci about the activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG and its successful functionining under SELEC umbrella, mentioning the benefits of such law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the Southeast European region.




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