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The annual meeting of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force

The 18th meeting of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force, organized by SELEC in the framework of Project F.A.I.T- Fight against Illegal Trade*, was held at the SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest on 18 of April 2018 with the participation of specialized officers from SELEC Member States, representatives of the partners and of the private sector.

Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, welcomed the participants, mentioned about the importance of countering illicit trade and informed about the last year results in terms of exchanges of information and joint investigations.

SELEC support in the fight against customs frauds and smuggling was emphasized by Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu, Director for Operations, who also briefed about the stage of implementation of Project F.A.I.T*- Fight Against Illegal Trade.

Mr. Dorian Dingo, the Task Force Co-Manager, informed about the latest activities developed in the framework of this Task Force and presented the operational proposals for the years 2018-2019.

Presentations of substantial joint investigations developed in this field, as well as new trends, modus operandi and smuggling routes were presented by the expert representatives of the SELEC Member States.

The Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force was established in 2003 and is being coordinated by Republic of Albania.


*Project financed by PMI IMPACT – a global grant initiative by Philip Morris International to support projects dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes.
The annual meeting of the Financial Consultative Group

The 7th  Meeting of the SELEC Financial Consultative Group, held at the SELEC Headquarters on 17 of April 2018, was attended by experts from Republic of Bulgaria, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey.

Opening remarks and presentation of the main issues related to SELEC’s budget were addressed by Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, who also briefed the participants about the execution of the Budget for 2017, the conclusions of the Audit Report for the year 2017, and the financial aspects related to the implementation of the projects.

The discussions of the expert meeting were related to the revision of the budget for 2018, the budget proposal for 2019 and the Five-year Financial Plan 2018-2022.

The submitted documents were endorsed by the members of the Financial Consultative Group following to be presented for approval at the upcoming SELEC Council session.

SELEC Director General met the Minister of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria

During her working visit in Republic of Bulgaria, the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, met on 12 of April 2018 the Bulgarian Minister of Interior, Mr. Valentin Radev.

Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation for the active involvement of the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities in the work of SELEC, also mentioned the latest successful joint investigations developed in the framework of SELEC and underlined the importance of the presence of both Liaison Officers, from Police and from Customs, at the SELEC Headquarters, as the direct communication link with the national competent authorities.

Minister Radev reiterated the commitment of the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities to the fulfillment of SELEC’s tasks and objective and reassured of his full support to SELEC.

The parties agreed to continue joining the efforts in order to counter all forms of transnational organized crime and make the Southeast European region more secure.

Republic of Bulgaria is the Coordinator of SELEC Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force that was established in 2000.

1,100 kg cannabis additionally seized during joint investigation Sunshine

Following the exchange of information between Albanian and Turkish Police authorities via SELEC channel, on 19 of March 2018 additional results were registered in the framework of operation Sunshine, as the Turkish Police seized 1 ton 100 kg cannabis in one Turkish town, the cannabis being transported by speed boat. 4 Albanian citizens and 3 Turkish citizens were arrested as a result of this operation.

It worth mentioning that the amount of cannabis seized from the drug trafficking activities performed by this organized crime group during one year period totalizes 7 tons.

The joint investigation is still ongoing.

Regional Operation on counterfeited goods conducted by SELEC

Following the proposal of SELEC’s Member States and according to the operational plan drafted by Republic of Albania as initiating Member State, SELEC coordinated Regional Operation KNOW-HOW III which targeted the detection and confinement of counterfeit goods entering Southeast Europe by all means of transport, both in commercial and non-commercial consignments. The operation was conducted in the period 12 - 23 of March 2018 with the participation of all SELEC’s Member States, and it required intensive exchange of information which led to a various selection and identification of high risk deliveries. In the operational (implementation) phase, intensified inspections and intelligence gathering activities were carried out by the participating countries, which resulted in the detection of illegal activities involving counterfeit products.

In order to ensure an effective implementation of the operational plan an Operation Coordination Unit (OCU) was established at SELEC’s Headquarters in Bucharest (Romania). At the same time, National Contact Points (NCPs) were set in the participating Member States. With the support of SELEC Operational Directorate’s Staff and the Liaison Officers posted at SELEC HQ, the OCU was operational daily between 06.00 – 18.00 GMT for the entire operational phase and supported the exchange of information and intelligence between the NCPs established in each participating Member States.

“Operation KNOW-HOW III represents an example of good practice in terms of international cooperation, with 1859 pieces of information exchanged during the operation. Working in partnership and exchanging valuable information on perpetrators, patterns and criminal profiles, will increase the efficiency of the Member States’ efforts, through a tailored approach to the particularities of the region. It is to be appreciated the high level of commitment of all the representatives involved in this operation and the authorities which allocated the proper resources for the success of the operation” stated Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu, Director for Operations.

Further results will be presented once all the data will be collected and validated.


International criminal network dealing with migrants ‘smuggling dismantled

After 12 months of intensive exchange of information through SELEC channel among law enforcement authorities of Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 17th of March 2018 joint investigation PASSPORT on illegal migration was finalized, with 53 persons arrested and 11 persons currently wanted.

Several organized crime groups were dealing with the smuggling of migrants from Republic of Albania to Great Britain, United States of America and Canada, by using forged documents. The Bulgarian authorities managed to dismantle the organized crime group, part of an international criminal network for smuggling migrants, that was producing and proliferating fake documents. During the searches performed various pieces of equipment and ID documents (Bulgarian, Turkish, Danish, Romanian, Spanish) were found, as well as 5114 pieces of fake 100 Euro banknotes.

The activities of the organized crime groups were spread in Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Kingdom of Spain, Dominican Republic and United States of America. In the last 2 years they managed to smuggle to Great Britain, USA and Canada over 1,000 migrants, obtaining profits in an average amount of 15 million USD.

The judicial procedures are ongoing.


Extending the cooperation towards the Middle East

At the invitation of the Director of GCC-Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs, Brigadier Saqer Rashid AL-MERAIKHI, on 6th of March 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana MALEEVA paid a visit to the headquarters of GCC-CICCD in Doha/Qatar.
During the visit, the Director of the Center and the Head of International Cooperation, Mr. Khalid ALSALAL, presented the organization, its mission, activities and capabilities.
The parties discussed the possibilities of further developing the cooperation, with a focus on drug trafficking, which is a priority both to SELEC and GCC-CICCD and their Member States. (read more)

Director General’s visit in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

At the invitation of the competent authorities of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, during 27-28 February 2018, the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva met the Minister of Interior of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Oliver Spasovski. The parties agreed on further enhancing the cooperation at operational level, with a focus on the joint investigations and operations conducted within SELEC. In the framework of this visit, Mrs. Maleeva had a meeting with the Director of the Bureau for Public Security, Mr. Lazo Velkovski, the active involvement and contribution to SELEC activities of the law enforcement authorities of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia being underlined by Mrs. Maleeva.

With this occasion the awarding ceremony for the successful operation “Coordination” coordinated through SELEC was held, Mrs. Maleeva offering the Certificate of Honour and expressing appreciation to the representatives of the Unit for combating trafficking of drugs in charge with the above-mentioned operation.

Mrs. Maleeva had a meeting with the Director General of the Customs Administration, Mr. Gjoko Tanasoski, during which the Customs Administration expressed its support to the work of the Center and the interest in further participating in joint actions and exchange of information so as to share knowledge and good practices in improving the cooperation with the Center and its Member States. (read more

Visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Albania in Bucharest

Bucharest, February 20th, 2018 - Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General of SELEC, received today the visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Albania in Bucharest, H.E. Ilir Tepelena, who was accompanied by Ms. Eva Nastas, 1st Secretary to the Albanian Embassy in Bucharest and Mr. Ervin Dervina, Albanian Police Liaison Officer posted at SELEC.

Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation as regards the active involvement of the Albanian law enforcement authorities in the operational activities of SELEC and reconfirmed SELEC’ support, with a view of further developing the cooperation.


SELEC’s Director General visit in Republic of Albania

At the invitation of the Albanian law enforcement authorities, in the period 7-8 February 2018, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, met with the Minister of Interior of Albania, Mr. Fatmir Xhafaj, the General Director of the Albanian State Police, Mr. Ardi Veliu and the Director for Investigating Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking, Mr. Sokol Selfollari. During the visit, the Director General of SELEC mentioned about the benefits of the regional cooperation in the framework of SELEC and the support offered to its Member States, including Republic of Albania, in the information exchanges and assistance requests’ process, as well in conducting joint investigations and regional operations, with the common aim of preventing and countering organized crime in Southeast Europe.

The parties agreed to further strengthen the cooperation at operational level in order to combat more efficiently the trans-border organized criminality in the region. Regional cooperation should focus on challenges that can be best tackled through common approach, enhanced cooperation and strengthened partnership.

Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation for the active involvement of the Albanian authorities in the work of SELEC, this fact being reflected in the results obtained. On this occasion, in the presence of high level officials from the Albanian Police and the case officers, Mrs. Maleeva handed over the Certificates of Honour for two successful awarded joint investigations conducted within SELEC’s framework in 2017, Operation Koordinimi and Alias, both related to illegal drug trafficking. (read more)


Tons of cannabis seized during joint investigation Sunshine supported by SELEC

Following 8 months of exchanging information between Albanian Police Narcotic Department, Turkish Police Narcotic Department and Hellenic Police Narcotic Department, via SELEC channel, regarding the criminal activities of an organized crime group dealing with drug trafficking, the following seizures were made: on 08.08.2017, 2.1 tons cannabis were seized in Italy, on 21.11.2017, 410 kg cannabis were seized in Turkey and on 26.11.2017, 1.6 tons cannabis were seized in Greece. Also, small quantities of cannabis and cocaine were seized in Republic of Albania and Hellenic Republic.

The organized crime group was trafficking drugs in the Balkan countries and in Europe, the modus operandi for the transport of the cannabis was by using a speed boat from Republic of Albania to Republic of Turkey.

On 29 January 2018, by supporting Albanian Narcotic Department, Turkish Police seized in Izmir/ Republic of Turkey 1.6 tons cannabis (skunk) resulted from the illegal activities performed by the same organized crime group, 4 persons being apprehended.

The joint investigation is still ongoing, further results being expected.


400 migrants apprehended following a joint investigation supported by SELEC

The Bulgarian and Turkish authorities dismantled an organized crime group dealing with smuggling of migrants, 20 traffickers (Bulgarian and Turkish citizens) being arrested following this successful joint investigation. SELEC supported the investigation by organizing an operational meeting and providing the necessary real-time exchange of information.

Thus, on 17 of January 2018 the Turkish Police apprehended 400 migrants while they were attempting crossing the border, by boat, from Republic of Turkey to Republic of Bulgaria.
The case is still ongoing.