The 17th meeting of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force, organized by SELEC, was held on November 9th 2017, 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, addressed the participants from SELEC Member States and experts from partner’ countries and organizations, and presented the latest activities developed in the framework of this Task Force. Mr. Ungureanu presented the objectives and benefits of Project F.A.I.T- Fight Against Illegal Trade, to be implemented by SELEC starting 2018.
Illicit tobacco trade represents a major concern for all SELEC’s Member States, causing serious losses to their budgets, at the same time increasing the finances of the organized crime groups that are engaging in smuggling of cigarettes and other tobacco related products because they obtain substantial benefits with a lower risk compared to other types of crime.
During the meeting, the key findings of the 2016 SEE Draft Report on Tobacco Products Smuggling, as well as the draft Evaluation report of Operation Know-How II and of Operation Eclipse II, were presented to the participants by Mr. Valentin Dinca, Assistant Criminal Analyst within SELEC.
Details regarding the most noteworthy joint investigations conducted by the Member States were described, highlighting the new trends, modus operandi and smuggling routes.
In order to fight more efficiently this criminal activity, law enforcement authorities should join efforts and further enhance their cooperation in combating trans-border smuggling of cigarettes and other tobacco related products, by i.e sharing challenges and good practices, networking and developing new partnerships.
The Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force was established in 2003 and is being coordinated by Republic of Albania and Republic of Croatia.