Bucharest, September 29th 2016 – The 16th meeting of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force organized by SELEC was held during 27-28 September 2016, in Bucharest/ Romania, at the SELEC Headquarters.
The Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, and the Task Force co-Manager, Mr. Dorian Dingo, chaired the meeting and addressed the participants from all twelve SELEC Member States, experts from partner’ countries and organizations, such as EUBAM, French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Italian Republic, Kingdom of Spain and United States of America, as well as representatives of the private sector.
The scope of the meeting was discussing regional approaches in preventing and countering customs frauds, counterfeiting and smuggling, sharing challenges and good practices, networking and developing new partnerships with the aim of further enhancing regional cooperation in this field and setting up common directions to be followed in South Eastern Europe.
SELEC’s support to its Member States in the fight against customs frauds and smuggling was mentioned, as well as the activities developed in the past year within the framework of the Anti- Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force. Major joint investigations conducted by the Member States in this field, new trends, modus operandi and smuggling routes were presented by the law enforcement officers of SELEC Member States.
During the meeting, the key findings of the 2015 SEE Draft Report on Tobacco Products Smuggling, the draft Evaluation report of Operation Know-How and Operation Eclipse were introduced to the participants by Mr. Valentin Veverita, Assistant Criminal Analyst in SELEC.
Mr. Ungureanu stated that “over the recent decades, smuggling of cigarettes and other tobacco related products has constantly increased its profitability for organized crime groups, and subsequently causing significant financial loses for states’ revenue systems” and “we should focus on improving and enhancing the process of exchange of information, mobility and operational capacity in order to better tackle this phenomenon”.
The Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force was established in 2003 and is being coordinated by Republic of Albania and Republic of Croatia.