26th Conference of SEEPAG on practical aspects of the mutual legal assistance related to the drug trafficking cases

Chisinau/ Republic of Moldova, April 28, 2015

Under the Moldovan Chairmanship, the 26th Conference of SEEPAG having as a topic ”Practical aspects of the mutual legal assistance related to the drug trafficking cases” was held in Chisinau, on 28th of April 2015, with the participation of high level representatives from the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Moldova, namely Mr. Corneliu Gurin, Prosecutor General, Mr. Anatolie Pîrnău, Head of the Department for International Legal Assistance and European Integration, and Mr. Viorel Morari, Head of the Department for leading the criminal investigation in the central authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Customs Service.

Besides the twelve SEEPAG Members that presented their drug trafficking cases, and shared best practices, expertise and experiences in investigating and prosecuting trans-border drug trafficking cases, also representatives of Kingdom of Belgium, Ukraine, European Judicial Network and Regional Cooperation Council participated in the event, with the purpose to enhance the cooperation at prosecutorial level.

Having in view the meeting’s theme, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, made an extensive presentation of the SELEC’s activities and successful operations on drug trafficking that were carried out in 2014, joint investigations supported and awarded by SELEC.

During the one-day meeting, the Member States’ representatives discussed practical issues and problems encountered in investigating and prosecuting cases of drug trafficking which have transnational character, as well as issues related to controlled deliveries. Impressive statistical data was presented as regards the quantities of drug seized recently in SEEPAG Member States, which are in general transit countries for drug trafficking, part of the so-called “Balkan route”.

It was concluded that good law enforcement international cooperation is a pre-condition for good international legal assistance. Furthermore, direct communication with authorities competent for international legal assistance is crucial for successful mutual legal assistance requests (rogatory letters), by this being possible to establish exactly who is the authority to be addressed and what are formal and substance-matter requirements that must be met in the respective country, as the legal systems are different.

One important tool in this regard is the Controlled Delivery Manual developed and updated by SELEC, as it contains the legal framework of each Member State in this field, the special requirements and conditions for carrying out a controlled delivery and the competent authorities in each SELEC Member State. This Manual was recently updated and disseminated also for the usage of the prosecutors which are part of the SEEPAG network.