In the framework of project SIRAS- Strengthening the fight against firearms trafficking in Southeastern Europe, SELEC organized during 14-15 May 2019 in Istanbul/Turkey, an interdisciplinary regional workshop aiming at exploring the links between firearms trafficking and terrorism.
Opening remarks were addressed by Mrs. Snejana MALEEVA, Director General of SELEC, who acknowledged the particular relevance of the topic and the fact that it requires coordination, complementarity and synergy of efforts. Mr. Valentin NICULESCU, SELEC Director for Operations, stressed SELEC’s role in the region in the context of the need for a common approach and joint efforts in the fight against trans-border crime.
Mr. Davut GÖL, the Turkish Police Liaison Officer at SELEC, as Manager of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, acted as moderator of the workshop, facilitating the presentations and the subsequent discussions.
The workshop was attended by experts in tackling firearms trafficking from the National Police forces of the SELEC Member States, as well as by other relevant professionals from partner countries and organizations such as Austria, France, Germany, the Nordic Countries, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, EUBAM, Europol and Interpol.
The participants presented significant cases investigated in the last years illustrating the links between firearms trafficking and terrorism, as well as the particularities of each country with regard to the topic, including legislation, relevant units and the challenges they are facing. The presentations were followed by questions and answers, discussions and sharing of best practices.
Project SIRAS was presented during the workshop, as well as the SELEC Associated Firearms Experts Network (SAFE-N), a network that is being created under the mentioned project in order to provide a pool of experts and a platform for direct exchanges among professionals from various fields and environments related to firearms.
Project SIRAS aims at strengthening the capacities of the law enforcement agencies in South-East Europe in fighting firearms trafficking. The project envisages to support the use in the EU Member States and the SELEC Member Countries of data collection/analytic capabilities regarding firearms and to strengthen the investigation capacity, as well as joint investigations, police cooperation and standardization between law enforcement authorities in the region.
Project SIRAS is co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union under the funding mechanism Home/2015/ISFP/AG/TDFX/400000735-Internal Security Fund, having as partners the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, SELEC, the Albanian State Police, the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bulgarian General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and the Italian Ministry of Interior.