SELEC organizes Regional Operations based on the proposals of Member States’ Liaison Officers, discussed and agreed upon during Task Force meetings. Regional Operations focus on trans-border crime and follow an Operational Plan drafted by the initiating Member State authority in cooperation with the Task Force Managers and SELEC Operational Directorate.
REGIONAL OPERATION ECLIPSE III
Regional Operation ECLIPSE III was initiated in the framework of SELEC by the Albanian authorities, being conducted in the period 19-30 November 2018, with the participation of all 11 SELEC Member States.
The Operation aimed at monitoring and combating illegal trade, with a focus on smuggling of cigarettes and tobacco related products. Intensive control measures on border crossing points and inland were carried out, by using shared intelligence and jointly coordinated investigations amongst participating SELEC Members.
Over the 10 days’ operational phase of Regional Operation ECLIPSE III, a number of 161 seizures were reported by the Member States. 1650 pieces of information were exchanged during the regional operation in relation to approximately 41.5 million seized cigarettes, 557 kg of raw tobacco, 362 kg of water-pipe tobacco and 354 kg of smoking tobacco seized.
In order to implement the operational plan, an Operation Coordination Unit (OCU) was established at SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/Romania. The OCU was functional daily between 09.00 a.m. and 18.00 p.m. (EET) for the entire operational phase. At the same time, for a swift implementation National Contact Points (NCPs) were set up in all participating Member States.
REGIONAL OPERATION KNOW-HOW III
Following the proposal of SELEC’s Member States and according to the operational plan drafted by Republic of Albania as initiating Member State, SELEC coordinated Regional Operation KNOW-HOW III which targeted the detection and confinement of counterfeit goods entering Southeast Europe by all means of transport, both in commercial and non-commercial consignments. The operation was conducted in the period 12 – 23 of March 2018 with the participation of all SELEC’s Member States, and it required intensive exchange of information which led to a various selection and identification of high risk deliveries. In the operational (implementation) phase, intensified inspections and intelligence gathering activities were carried out by the participating countries, which resulted in the detection of illegal activities involving counterfeit products.
In order to ensure an effective implementation of the operational plan an Operation Coordination Unit (OCU) was established at SELEC’s Headquarters in Bucharest (Romania). At the same time, National Contact Points (NCPs) were set in the participating Member States. With the support of SELEC Operational Directorate’s Staff and the Liaison Officers posted at SELEC HQ, the OCU was operational daily between 06.00 – 18.00 GMT for the entire operational phase and supported the exchange of information and intelligence between the NCPs established in each participating Member States.
“Operation KNOW-HOW III represents an example of good practice in terms of international cooperation, with 1859 pieces of information exchanged during the operation. Working in partnership and exchanging valuable information on perpetrators, patterns and criminal profiles, will increase the efficiency of the Member States’ efforts, through a tailored approach to the particularities of the region. It is to be appreciated the high level of commitment of all the representatives involved in this operation and the authorities which allocated the proper resources for the success of the operation” stated Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu, Director for Operations.
Further results will be presented once all the data will be collected and validated.
REGIONAL OPERATION ECLIPSE II
Over the 10 days’ operational phase of Regional Operation Eclipse that took place in the period 6- 17 March 2017, 205 seizures were reported, totaling close to 40 million pieces of cigarettes estimated at more than 14 million euro, 5.6 tons of smoking tobacco, 970 kilograms of water-pipe tobacco, 155 kg of cut filler tobacco, and 27 kg of raw tobacco.
The great majority of detections reported was made either inland or at border check points, and to a lesser extent in airports or at the green border. The highest number of seized cigarettes was based on risk analysis, while intelligence was the main reason for detecting smoking tobacco.
A number of 1284 pieces of information were exchanged by Member States during the Operation.
The ports in the region are used for smuggling large quantities of cigarettes concealed in maritime containers arriving from the source countries.
Seizure of Smoking Tobacco from Croatian authorities during Eclipse II Regional Operation
REGIONAL OPERATION SPARE PARTS
Operation Spare Parts was initiated by the Hungarian authorities and organized by SELEC during 16th and 17th of May 2017 with the participation of all SELEC’s Member States. The aforementioned Operation Spare Partsfocused on combating illegal trafficking of vehicles and spare parts, acquired mostly (but not only) in Western European countries (EU), by committing criminal offences of various kind, with the purpose of having them later legalized in SELEC Member States of via the Member States in other countries from Europe and Asia.
A number of 21,464 personnel were deployed during this Operation, while 149,604 vehicles, 190,188 persons and 198,582 documents were checked. Highways represent the place where most of the seized vehicles were detected, followed by the Registration Office/Authority and Scrap Yards. The estimated value of the seized vehicles by SELEC Member States is 1,780,000 Euro.