21st Meeting of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force

Arbanasi/ Republic of Bulgaria, May 26-27, 2015 – Under the auspices of SELEC, 45 experts from SELEC Member States and Partners (French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, UNODC and USA) gathered for the 21st Meeting of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force.

In the opening of the meeting:
– Mr. Cristian Duta, SELEC Director for Operations, welcomed the participants and addressed many thanks to Bulgarian authorities for hosting the meeting, mentioning that it is part of a series of annual events organized by SELEC in combating trans-border criminality and upgrading the operational capabilities of the Center;
– Mr. Stoyan Temelakiev, Deputy Director of General Directorate Combating Organized Crime, Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, emphasized that SELEC is an efficient cooperation platform for combating trans-border organized crime and effectively combining the efforts of all competent law enforcement authorities;
– Mr. Sergey Nakov, Director of Customs Intelligence and Investigation, Bulgarian National Customs Agency, underlined that the successful activities carried out within the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force proved over the years the importance of coordinated actions in combating drug trafficking, thus representing an essential perquisite to prevent and fight this type of crime in Southeast European region.

During the two-day meeting, there were presented and discussed the 2014 SEE Annual Drug Report, as well as the most successful joint investigations developed in 2014 in this field, such as operations “BOSFOR”, “WALKER II”, “PHOENIX/BRUNO”, “MAVROVO” and “VIBER”.
The representatives of the Member States presented other substantial anti-drug joint investigations in Southeast European region, focusing on the news trends, modus operandi and smuggling routes.

In their role of Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force co-managers, Bulgarian Customs and Police Liaison Officers to SELEC provided general overview upon last year overall info exchanges, as well as the joint investigations, logistically and financially supported by SELEC.

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided estimations on recent heroin and cocaine trafficking trends in the United States, while UNODC gave a summary about the perspectives on “Trafficking and Trends in Illicit Drugs: global and regional; current and upcoming research outputs”.

The participants strongly underlined the necessity to increase the institutional cooperation among SELEC Members States and Partners, by facilitating the exchange of information and sharing of good practices.

The Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force is one of the oldest and most efficient SELEC’s Task Forces, being established in 2000 and coordinated by Republic of Bulgaria.