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Successful joint investigation conducted by Albanian authorities with SELEC support and involvement

The Directorate for Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking within the Albanian State Police in cooperation with the Prosecutor Office for Serious Crimes successfully finalized the operation codenamed BALKAN, on drug trafficking, initiated in 2015.

The investigations were focused on an organized criminal group, active in different countries of the Balkan region, dealing with drug trafficking (heroin, cocaine and marijuana). The heroin was procured in Republic of Turkey and transported to Republic of Albania with final destination the EU countries. The marijuana was acquired in Republic of Albania and transported to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic and Republic of Turkey.

Parallel investigations were carried out in Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey.  The exchange of information among the law enforcement agencies of the mentioned countries was exchanged in real time, through SELEC channel.

The investigation led to the arrest of 28 persons (including 5 organizers), arrest warrant being issued for other 20 persons involved in the illegal activities of this organized criminal group. Approximately 27 kg of heroin, 2 kg of cocaine and almost 184 kg marijuana were seized, as well as more than 38.000 Euro, 1,5 million Albanian Leke and 4 weapons. Further results of this joint investigation are expected.

Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Training Course

The Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering training course organized by the US Drug Enforcement Administration was held at the SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest during 18-22 July 2016. The opening remarks were addressed by the DEA Academy trainers and by Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, Director for Operations of SELEC, who welcomed the participants at SELEC and mentioned about the importance of the course topic.
The course addressed themes, such as money laundering, financial investigations, global financial trends, international emerging trends, asset forfeiture. The participants also shared related national laws and current practices.

During the visit of the training course’ participants to the SELEC Headquarters, Mr. Ungureanu presented SELEC’s mission, activities and results, referred to the analytical products developed by SELEC and the support provided to the Member States in conducting joint investigations and regional operations.

It was also mentioned that United States’ agencies were involved in the activities carried out by SELEC from its establishment in 1999, currently USA having the status of Operational Partner to SELEC.

Successful elections for the position of Director General of SELEC

The 12th Council meeting, focused on the elections for the position of Director General, was held on 30 of June 2016, in Bucharest/Romania, with the participation of high-level representatives from SELEC Member States and Partner countries and organizations. The session was chaired by Mr. Fredolin Lecari, Head of International Police Cooperation Center, General Police Inspectorate of Republic of Moldova, and Mr. Aleksandar Todosiev, Head of Unit for International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

For the open position of Director General of SELEC, Republic of Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia submitted nominations. The voting process finalized successfully with the election of Mr. Toni Jakimovski, the candidate of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as Director General of SELEC, following that Mr. Jakimovski to take over the position at the expiration of the mandate of the current Director General of SELEC, Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir.

Taking this opportunity, Mr. Bahadir thanked all Council members, representatives of law enforcement authorities of SELEC Member States, liaison officers and partners for their continuous support in accomplishing SELEC mission of combating trans-border organized crime in Southeast Europe.

OSCE Security Committee meeting

On 22 of June 2016, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, Director for Operations of SELEC, participated as a keynote speaker at the OSCE Security Committee meeting on “Regional cooperation in addressing illegal migration security related challenges”, held in Vienna/Republic of Austria, under German OSCE Chairmanship-In-Office.

Mr. Ungureanu provided a regional update on illegal migration with a focus on SELEC’s operational activities in the field of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants, mentioned the conclusions of the latest SELEC Task Force Mirage on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration, and presented best practices and lessons learnt that could contribute to the enhancement of the regional cooperation in addressing illegal migration security related challenges.

The 22nd meeting of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force- Workshop on strengthening the cooperation between Police and Customs in combating drug trafficking

Bucharest, June 16th, 2016 - The 22nd meeting of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force was held at the SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest, during 14-15 of June 2016. In the constant effort to strengthen the regional cooperation, the event was jointly organized with Priority Area 11 “Security” of the European Strategy for the Danube Region, in the framework of the Workshop on strengthening the cooperation between Police and Customs in combating drug trafficking, with the participation of SELEC Member States and Partners’ experts, as well as representatives from EUBAM, Europol, Interpol, OSCE.

The Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, Chairman, welcomed the participants and mentioned about SELEC’s support to its Member States in the fight against drug trafficking, last year’s achievements and future initiatives for enhancing SELEC’s work, for the benefit of law enforcement authorities of all SELEC Member States.

The key findings of the 2015 Annual Drug Report for Southeast Europe were presented by Mr. Robert Patrancus, Criminal Analyst, whilst Mr. Svetlin Danailov, Bulgarian Liaison Officer at SELEC, Task Force Manager, briefed about the activities developed within the framework of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force, such as the data exchange and joint investigations supported by SELEC, with a focus on the successful operations that were awarded by SELEC in 2015 (i.e Green Arrow, Caddy, Vodno/Chema, Skiper/Tower, Maska). ...read more

Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference

On the 14th of June 2016, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs, attended the Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference held within the framework of the Croatian Salzburg Forum Presidency, in Dubrovnik, with the participation of Ministers of Interior from the Salzburg Forum Member States and the states belonging to the Group of Friends of the Salzburg Forum, representatives of European institutions and agencies, international organizations and partners.

The conference ensured the proper venue for discussions related to the cooperation in the area of legal and illegal migration and asylum, border management and fighting terrorism and radicalization.

Having in view SELEC’s objective to prevent and combat all forms of crime, including serious and organized crime, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva addressed to the audience mentioning SELEC’s role in the Southeast European region in fighting organized crime, with a focus on illegal migration and terrorism, which are also key priority areas for SELEC and its Member States.

The ministerial conference concluded with the adoption of a Joint Ministerial Declaration containing guidelines related to migration - exchange of information and cooperation, challenges in future border management and the fight against terrorism.

OSCE Annual Police Experts Meeting

On the 9-10 June 2016, Mr. Murat Caliskan, SELEC Turkish Police Liaison Officer, participated as a keynote speaker at the OSCE Annual Police Experts Meeting on "Intelligence-led policing: a model for strategic planning,strenghtening community policing and countering transnational threats posed by criminal activity", held in Vienna / Austria.

During his intervention, Mr.Caliskan mentioned the increased number of exchanges of information and joint investigations supported by SELEC, and presented the operation Sheppard in the field of migrants' smuggling, a succesful joint investigation between Serbian and Turkish law enforcement authorities, awarded by SELEC last year.

The objective of the meeting,held under the OSCE 2016 German Chairmanship-in-office, was to introduce intelligence-led policing models, methodologies and good practices to OSCE participating states, partners for cooperation and other participants.