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12th Meeting of Stolen Vehicles Task Force

Bucharest, April 1, 2015 - Over 50 experts from SELEC Member States - Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey, and also partners - EUBAM, EUROPOL, GIE ARGOS, Kingdom of Spain and Italian Republic, participated in Bucharest at the 12th Meeting of the Stolen Vehicles Task Force. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations of SELEC.

In order to have a general overview of the situation in the region, the participants presented the national situation on the current vehicles crimes and related statistics – new trends and challenges, recent investigations and best practices examples, and also made proposals for future activities.

On this occasion, the Evaluation Report of the Regional Operation “HIT”, as well as the Statistical Report on Vehicle Crime in Southeast Europe were presented and discussed during the meeting.

The participants in the meeting agreed that the phenomenon of stolen vehicles represents a threat that occurs trans-nationally and transcends national boundaries, making the international cooperation an essential perquisite to prevent and combat more efficiently this type of crime.

Stolen Vehicles Task Force is one of the oldest SELEC’s task forces, being established in 2002 and coordinated by Hungary.(more)

First Prize granted to Romania for Operation “PHOENIX/BRUNO”

BUCHAREST, April 2, 2015 - SELEC awarded the First Prize to the Directorate for Countering Organized Criminality, Anti-Drug Unit witihn the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police for the joint operation „PHOENIX/BRUNO”.
The Ceremony to hand over the Certificate of Honor took place today at the SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest.

Present to witness the ceremony were the representatives from Romanian Police (Police Chief Commissioner, Vasile Costea - Head of Anti-Drug Unit, Directorate for Countering Organized Criminality, Police Chief Commissioner, Victor Nistor - Head of Unit for Combating Drug Trans-border Trafficking, Directorate for Countering Organized Criminality, and Police Sub-Commissioner Irina Băcioiu – case officer) as well as from SELEC (Mr. Cristian Duţă, Director for Operations, and Mr. Eliodor Tanislav, Romanian Police Liaison Officer).

On 3rd of March 2015, SELEC granted awards to those cases which proved to be successful in fighting trans-border organized crime, for the second semester of 2014.  
The awards are granted twice per year and represent recognition of outstanding law enforcement activities carried out by Police and Customs Authorities of SELEC Member States in fighting trans-border organized criminality. The goal of the awards is to provide not only a material prize, but also to motivate the law enforcement authorities to use cooperation avenues available through SELEC for fighting trans-border organized crime in Southeast Europe.

Handing over the award, Mr. Cristian Duţă declared: “I would like to congratulate our colleagues from the Romanian Police for this outstanding accomplishment. Having the valuable support of the law enforcement authorities from Bulgarian Customs Agency, they managed to dismantle an organized crime group involved in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe. This is an excellent example of successfully conducted joint investigation, using SELEC legal framework, operational assistance and communication channels. Combating drug trafficking represents a priority in the agenda of SELEC, which will continue by any means to support, encourage and motivate the Member States’ efforts to exchange information, to organize joint investigations and controlled deliveries and to disrupt organized crime groups with trans-national links and sources.”

*****

The joint investigation codenamed „PHOENIX/BRUNO” was a case in the field of drug trafficking, carried out between June 2014 and January 2015, involving the law enforcement authorities from Romanian Police and Bulgarian Customs. The aim of this joint investigation was to dismantle an organized crime group involved in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe, along the Balkan route, and further on to Middle East.
Total of 55.625 kg of cocaine were seized on the territories of Romania and Republic of Bulgaria, 5 members of a multinational organized crime group being arrested. Arrest warrant was issued for the main organizer, while the vehicle used for smuggling has been confiscated. 

Due to the excellent co-ordination mechanism established via SELEC between the competent law enforcement and judicial authorities from Romania and Republic of Bulgaria, the operation „PHOENIX/BRUNO” represents a best practice example of successfully conducted trans-border operation in counternarcotics.

*****

SELEC is a unique operational organization in which Police and Customs Liaison Officers from 12 Member States (Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey) work together in direct cooperation, coordinate joint investigations and facilitate exchange of information.

MAIN OBJECTIVE OF SELEC:
The objective of SELEC, within the framework of cooperation among Competent Authorities, is to provide support for Member States and enhance coordination in preventing and combating crime, including serious and organized crime, where such crime involves or appears to involve an element of trans-border activity.

SELEC inherited the success of SECI Center - over 14 years of operational activities, joint investigations, meetings, workshops and strategic analysis covering the most sensitive trans-border criminal fields in the South Eastern European region. Throughout this period, the intensive exchange of information through the Liaison Officers and Center’s communication channels successfully supported the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in the Member States.

SELEC’S AWARDS GRANTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES FOR THE SECOND SEMESTER OF 2014

Bucharest, March 4, 2015 - SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee decided to grant the following awards to the law enforcement authorities from the SELEC Member States for the second semester of 2014, as an appreciation for the successful cases using Center’s cooperation channels and involving at least two Member States:

First Prize

- Operation PHOENIX/BRUNO, a case in the field of drug trafficking, involving the law enforcement authorities from Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, which led to the arrest of 5 persons and seizure of 55.625 kg of cocaine. Arrest warrant was issued for the main organizer, while the vehicle used for smuggling has been confiscated.

- Operation OSKAR, in the field of migrants smuggling, between Hungary and Republic of Serbia which succeeded with the arrest of 19 perpetrators, including the organizer, and temporary seizure of a large amount of money, significant number of communication devices and several pieces of weapons. Five migrants working for the organized crime group were apprehended in Austria.

Second Prize

- Operation MAVROVO
, a drug trafficking case developed by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia which conducted to the arrest of 4 persons and seizure of 168 kg of marijuana.

- Operation JOKER, a case in the field of cigarettes smuggling, involving Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Croatia, which led to the arrest of 21 persons and seizure of 1,694,300 pieces of cigarettes, different brands, 2.672 tons of tobacco, 108 bags of tobacco, two machines with equipment and materials for the manufacture of cigarettes, 3 cars, 46.7 grams of marijuana, three handguns, 40,165 EUR, 2,600 USD and 7,000 KM.

Third Prize

- Operation M5
, a case in the field of migrants smuggling, among Republic of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, with the following results: arrest of 1 person in Republic of Bulgaria, arrest warrant issued for the second perpetrator (identified based on DNA and fingerprints analysis), 140 illegal migrants detected, 7 perpetrators under investigation, new modus operandi detected.

- Operation VIBER, adrug trafficking case developed by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, which led to the arrest of 53 persons and seizure of 33.9 kg of cannabis, 657.3 grams of heroin, 1.35 kg of amphetamine, 12 grams of cocaine, 2 automatic rifles, 5 handguns, 1 crossbow, large quantity of ammunition and 5.000 EUR cash.

Hungarian authorities receiving the Certificate of Honor for the Operation “M5” Hungarian Liaison Officer at SELEC Gabor Liczkai handing over the Certificate of Honor to the Hungarian authorities for Operation “OSKAR” Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations of SELEC, handing over the Certificate of Honor to the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities for the Operation “VIBER””

News and Events

Working Visit

Bucharest, March 26, 2015 - SELEC Management welcomed today a Belgian prosecutorial delegation headed by Mr. Eric Bisschop, Deputy Federal Prosecutor of Belgium, who paid a working visit to the Center’s premises within the framework of the annual session of consultations organized in Bucharest between the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism and Federal Prosecutor’s Office of Belgium.

On this occasion, the quests were briefed about SELEC and SEEPAG activities. The modalities of the regional law enforcement cooperation and Belgian attendance to SEEPAG meetings were also discussed during the visit.

High Level Visit

Bucharest, March 20, 2015 - SELEC Management welcomed on 20th of March 2015 a German delegation headed by Mr. Lorenz Caffier, Deputy Prime-Minister, Minister of Interior and Sport of the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

During the meeting, general issues related to fight against illegal immigration, human and drug trafficking were discussed. The guests were also briefed about the operational activities of the Center, its latest successful operations and projects, as well as about its future prospective role in combating trans-border criminality in the Southeast European region, including the recent issue of foreign fighters.

The meeting was organized within the visit planning by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania.

Official Visit

Bucharest, March 12, 2015 - The Ambassador of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Pande Lazarevski, paid today a visit to SELEC premises being welcomed by Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General of SELEC. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Hanif Dauti, Counselor, and Mr. Goran Ristovski, Macedonian Police Liaison Officer.

Mr. Bahadir briefed the guest about the latest development in SELEC, operational plans and achievements, mentioning also the contribution of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Center’s activities. (more)



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