First Prize granted to Romania and Republic of Moldova for Operation “La Piovra del Patron”

On 20th of March 2014, SELEC granted awards to those cases which proved to be successful in fighting trans-border organized crime, for the second semester of 2013. 

The awards are granted twice per year and represent a recognition of outstanding law enforcement activities carried out by Police and Customs Authorities of SELEC Member States in fighting trans-border organized crime. The goal of the awards is to provide not only a material prize, but also to motivate the law enforcement authorities to use cooperation avenues available through SELEC for fighting trans-border organized crime in Southeast Europe.

On this occasion, Romanian Border Police, together with the authorities from Republic of Moldova, was awarded the first prize for the joint operation „LA PIOVRA DEL PATRON”.

Operation “LA PIOVRA DEL PATRON” was a case in the field of cigarettes production and smuggling, money laundering, brand piracy, fraud etc., involving Republic of Moldova and Romania, which led to the arrest of 38 persons in both countries and detection and seizure of 1 clandestine factory for production of non-filter cigarettes, 1 clandestine cigarettes packing line, 1 improvised installation for alcohol beverages counterfeiting, 382,129 packs of counterfeit cigarettes, 13,911 kg cut tobacco, 2,334,200 paper blanks for “Plugarul” cigarettes brand packs, 2,841,000 MD fiscal stamps, different raw materials for clandestine process of cigarettes manufacturing, 14 vehicles, 110,000 EUR cash, 800 liters counterfeit alcohol, fire weapons, side arms and ammunition, 118 mobile phones, 10 grams of cannabis etc. Estimated value of seizures was 3.5 million EUR and the estimated budget loss for Romania was over 4 million EUR.

Festive delivery of the Certificate of honor was organized today, 11th of April 2014, at the Romanian Border Police Headquarters in Bucharest, with the participation of the representatives from Romanian authorities (Mr. Liviu Galoş, Deputy General Inspector General, Mr. Bodgan Budeanu, Chief of Department for Combating Illegal Migration, and Mr. Flavius Onofrei, Police Chief Superintendent, Territorial Service of Border Police of Iasi) as well as from SELEC (Mr. Cristian Duţă, Director for Operation, and Mr. Eliodor Tanislav, Romanian Police Liaison Officer).

Handing over the award, Mr. Cristian Duţă declared: “This recognition of the activities developed by the Romanian Border Police represent a confirmation of the excellent cooperation with visible outcomes existing between SELEC and Romanian authorities – Police, Border Police and Customs. The basic principle of this cooperation is the mutual support in the fight against organized criminality, including cigarettes smuggling, and in this regard I would like to mention that a Task Force addressing the issues of smuggling and customs frauds exists in the frame of SELEC since 2003 and has a remarkable activity. On this special occasion, I would like to congratulate the colleagues from the Romanian Border Police for their perseverance, professionalism and commitment in successfully finalizing the Operation < La Piovra del Patron >. Our colleagues dismantled a very dangerous organized crime group, which caused considerable damage to the Romanian state”.