BUCHAREST, April 4, 2013 – Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) continued its regular practice for recognition of outstanding law enforcement activities and granted awards to those cases which proved to be successful, using the SELEC cooperation network and involving at least two SELEC Member States.

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 criminality in Southeast Europe.

SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee decided to grant the following awards for the second semester of 2012, as an appreciation for the efforts made and the results obtained by the relevant authorities of the Member States:

– Operation SUGAR, a financial fraud case involving Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, which led to charging 107 persons and sending them to the court for committing multiple crimes (i.e. initiating, setting up, adhering or supporting a criminal organized group; tax evasion; money laundering; fraudulent bankruptcy etc.). The total damage was estimated to 200 million euro.

– Operation KRANJ, a case in the field of drug trafficking which involved Republic of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Austria and the Netherlands, with the following results: arrest of 15 OCG members and seizure of 15,400 US dollars, 3.234 kg of heroin, 1.435 kg of cocaine, two guns, large number of mobile phones and cards.

– Operation LION, a case in the field of cigarettes smuggling developed by Hungary and Romania. The results of the case were: 4 persons arrested, seized cigarette production machinery line, 45,000 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes brand “Plugarul”, 31,000 kg of fine-cut tobacco, 856 kg of tobacco leaves, 363,000 pieces of counterfeit Moldovan tax seals, cigarette papers and cigarette-box papers. The estimated value of the seized excise products was about 2.1 million euro.

– Operation ESTELLE, a drug trafficking case which involved Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Hellenic Republic and DEA, which led to seizure in April 2012 of 50 kg cocaine and pressing charges against two of the main players in big international network dealing with traffic of big quantities of cocaine from South America to Europe. In May 2012, in different countries in Europe, 15 members of the criminal network were arrested including its leader and coordinator, and they were extradited to Italian Republic.– Operation EPOPEE, in the field of anti-terrorism, involving Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Serbia which led to the arrest of 7 members of the group on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria, and seizure of big quantity of narcotic drugs (marijuana) and a gun with erased numbers and silencer.