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Official visit to Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC)

At the invitation of the Director of CARICC, Mr. Grigory Borisovich Pustovitov, on October 12th, 2018, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, had an official visit to CARICC- Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

The parties discussed on the possibilities of further developing the cooperation between the two organizations and to finalize the procedure for CARICC to obtain the Operational Partner status with SELEC, namely to conclude the negotiations of the Cooperation Agreement.

In the second part of the visit, Mrs. Maleeva attended the meeting of the observer states and plenipotentiary representatives of CARICC Member States, meeting focused on the enhancement of the exchange of information and analytical data, in creation and operation of electronic databases. During the meeting, SELEC’s Director General delivered a presentation of the latest activities and results of SELEC and its Member States in the field of combating drug trafficking.

CARICC was established in 1996 by the Memorandum of Understanding on sub-regional drug control cooperation concluded between the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

EU - Western Balkans Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Forum

During 4-5 October 2018, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, represented SELEC at the EU–Western Balkans Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Forum that took place in Tirana/Republic of Albania with the participation of the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of Austria, representing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, their counterparts from the Western Balkans and the European Commission representatives.

The Ministers underlined the importance of the respect of rule of law, justice and fundamental rights in the EU's relations with the region. Migration and border management, counter-terrorism and radicalisation, as well as the joint fight against migrant smuggling and organised crime were discussed under the home affairs section.

During the Forum, a Joint Action Plan on Counter Terrorism for the Western Balkans was signed that calls on Western Balkan partners and the European Union to take ambitious actions in order to reach their counter-terrorism objectives.

The Southeast European Law Enforcement Center together with OSCE update the manual for regional law enforcement officers on combating trafficking of illicit drugs

A manual designed to assist law enforcement officers in South-East Europe in launching controlled delivery operations to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs and their precursors has been updated by the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) in co-operation with the Strategic Police Matters Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department.

The updated Controlled Delivery Manual for South-East European Countries provides practitioners from 17 SELEC countries and observers with the contact details of authorized officers in these countries who are responsible for controlled deliveries.

The Manual describes the legislation or rules governing controlled deliveries in each country of the region and explains how to request such a measure. It outlines the role of foreign authorities in a controlled delivery, clarifies the possibility of substitution, the duration of such measures, and the contact details of respective authorities as well as other relevant information.

This Manual is designed for the use by law enforcement agencies and judiciaries.

7 years of SELEC

On 7th of October 2018 we celebrate the 7th year of existence of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), the successor of SECI Center which was founded in 1999.

SELEC promotes and facilitates enhanced regional cooperation between the competent law enforcement authorities of SELEC Member States and their counterparts in other states, with a view to contribute to the effectiveness in preventing and combating all forms of transborder organized crime in Southeast Europe.

During the years SELEC continuously strived to fulfill its mission at its best, evolving at institutional and operational level, the increasing trend in the number of exchanges of information and requests of assistance, as well as in the number of operational meetings and joint investigations supported by SELEC, the drafted analytical reports, the involvement in international projects, the fully equipped training center and the new Operational Center Unit, stand as a proof of this development.

Having in view the importance of our mission, SELEC always conferred a paramount consideration for enhancing the cooperation, building up and strengthening partnerships, thus besides the 11 Member States that successfully cooperate in the framework of SELEC, 3 Operational partners and 21 Observers joined synergies in attaining the objective of ensuring the security in the region and not only. [read more]

Organized Crime Threat Assessment for Southeast Europe

SELEC launches the Organized Crime Threat Assessment for Southeast Europe 2018 (OCTA SEE 2018), the most comprehensive strategic report drafted by SELEC, developed with the essential support of our Member States, covering a period of 5 years.

OCTA SEE is a qualitative assessment, a strategic report illustrating the current situation and trends, identifying threats in SELEC Member States, highlighting vulnerabilities and opportunities revealed by various types of crime.

All the information shared by the Member States as well as the data available in SELEC endorse the conclusion that crime has stepped up in complexity over time, while technology, mainly the Internet, has changed the face of crime forever. From drug trafficking to money laundering, the report’s motto “crime steers online” applies today to all the major crime areas.

The report intends to cast more light on the understanding of crime, while supporting the decision-making bodies in further translating ideas into national/regional strategic priorities, goals and operational action plans.

OCTA SEE is for law enforcement and judicial use only; the public version of its key findings shall be soon available on our website.

The Director General received the visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Belarus in Romania

The Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received on 25 September 2018 at the SELEC Headquarters, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus in Romania, H.E Andrei M. Grinkevich.

During the visit the parties exchanged views related to the possibilities of further enhancing the cooperation at operational level between Republic of Belarus and SELEC for preventing and combating all forms of transborder crime and serious crime, considering the current status of Observer of Republic of Belarus.

Mr. Grinkevich took this opportunity to launch invitations for SELEC to participate in several conferences having as objective the implementation of international legal frameworks related to the fight against organized crime.

Currently, 3 Operational Partners and 21 countries and organizations are Observers to SELEC, Republic of Belarus being granted the status of Observer in May 2017.

Ministerial Conference on high-tech crime and information security

The Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, participated at the Ministerial Conference on high-tech crime and information security under the slogan "Connect Securely!" organized by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade, on 20th and 21st September 2018.

The Conference was attended by the ministers of interior of the neighboring countries and the countries in the region, and also representatives of international organizations.

During her intervention at the conference, Mrs. Maleeva briefed about SELEC’s mission, activities and results in the field of cybercrime, highlighting the most relevant joint investigations developed in the framework of SELEC by the law enforcement authorities of the Member States. Mrs. Maleeva mentioned that cybercrime represents a threat to the worldwide information security, producing substantial damages in all areas and sectors of the society, that is why having a synergy among countries is a sine qua non condition for an effective fight against cybercrime, thus ensuring stability, security and development in the region.

The Ministerial Conference also had an expert-level meeting that aimed exchanging solutions, experiences and good practices in the field of suppressing high-tech crime.

Joint investigation on heroin trafficking conducted in the framework of SELEC

On August 10th 2018 the Bulgarian and Turkish authorities successfully finalized joint investigation codenamed Discussion related to trafficking of heroin.

Following four months exchange of information through SELEC, the Turkish Police Istanbul Narcotic Department with the support of the Bulgarian Police seized 11 kg of heroin and apprehended 3 persons involved. The heroin was planned to be transported by car from Republic of Turkey via Republic of Bulgaria, with destination Western Europe, but the transport was stopped in Istanbul and the heroin confiscated.

Currently the investigation is ongoing.

Visit of the Ambassador of French Republic in Romania

On July 10th 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Ms. Snejana Maleeva, received the visit of the Ambassador of French Republic in Romania, H.E Ms. Michèle Ramis.

During the meeting Ms. Maleeva presented to the Ambassador the latest activities conducted by the Member States in the framework of SELEC and the very good results obtained during 2017, and also discussed about the increased involvement of French Republic in the activities of SELEC.

Ambassador Ramis mentioned about the interest of The French Republic to develop the cooperation in the field of environment and nature related crimes, this being also a crime tackled by SELEC, a dedicated Task Force being established since 2009.

French Republic is a long-term Observer to SELEC, being one of the 24 partners of the Center.

Security within the European Danube Region

The Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, participated on 3-4 July 2018 at the XIV Meeting of the Steering Group of the Priority area 11 - “Security” in the framework of the European Danube Region Strategy (EUSDR).

The meeting was attended by the Priority area Coordinators, representatives of EUSDR Member States, partners and stakeholders, and members of the Coordination Bureau.

The roadmap towards the revision of the EUSDR 2010 Action Plan, as well as presentation of project successfully implemented in 2017, establishment of the new Danube Strategy Point and further activities envisaged to be developed were discussed during the meeting.

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is a macro-regional strategy adopted by the European Commission in December 2010 and endorsed by the European Council in 2011. The Strategy was jointly developed by the Commission, together with the Danube Region countries and stakeholders, in order to address common challenges together. The Strategy seeks to create synergies and coordination between existing policies and initiatives taking place across the Danube Region.

SELEC organized a workshop exploring the connections between firearms and drug trafficking

During 12-13 June 2018, in the framework of Project SIRAS- Strengthening the fight against firearms trafficking in Southeastern Europe, SELEC organized in Sofia/Republic of Bulgaria, an Interdisciplinary Workshop aiming to explore the connections between firearms and drug trafficking, with the participation of experts from all SELEC Member States and representatives of SELEC’s Operational Partners and Observers, as well as Europol and Interpol.

Opening remarks were addressed by Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu, Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Ivaylo Spiridonov, Director of the Bulgarian Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, National Coordinator and Mr. Julian Mirkov, Deputy Head of the Bulgarian Customs Agency.

Mr. Ungureanu presented Project SIRAS, co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union, informing about the current stage of the implementation of the project.[read more]

The Director General received the visit of the Albanian Director General of Internal Affairs Service and Complaints

In the framework of the Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference that took place in Bucharest during 14-15 June 2018, the Director General, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received at the SELEC Headquarters the visit of Mrs. Anila Trimi, General Director, Internal Affairs Service and Complaints within the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Albania.

Mrs. Maleeva presented the mission and activities developed by SELEC, briefed about the very good results recorded last year and expressed appreciation as regards Albanian law enforcement authorities contribution to the successful work of SELEC.

Republic of Albania is one of the founding members of SELEC, presently coordinating the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force.

The Director General received the visit of the Minister of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria

On June 15th 2018, the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received the visit of the Minister of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Valentin Radev, who was accompanied by Mrs. Snezhina Marinova, Director of European Affairs and International Cooperation Directorate within the Ministry of Interior.

Mrs. Maleeva and Mr. Radev discussed the involvement of the Bulgarian law enforcement authorities in the efficient work of SELEC, both Police and Customs being represented at SELEC through the posted Liaison Officers.
SELEC Director General expressed appreciation for their very good work, making also a reference to the latest awarded joint investigations conducted by the Bulgarian authorities in the framework of SELEC.

The parties reiterated their mutual support and agreed on further enhancing the cooperation in preventing and countering trans-border organized crime in the region.

The Director General met the Serbian law enforcement officials

On June 11th 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva had an official visit to Republic of Serbia during which she met the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Mr. Nebojša Stefanovic and the Director General of Customs Administration, Mr. Milos Tomic.

During the meetings, Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation towards the Serbian Police and Customs authorities, represented at SELEC, for their active involvement at strategic and operational level in the activities of SELEC, mentioning the good results obtained during the years in terms of number of exchanges of information, requests of assistance and joint investigations. The parties assessed the cooperation so far as very good, future steps for enhancing the cooperation in the framework of SELEC being also discussed. The successful joint investigations in which the Serbian Police and Customs took part during last year were highlighted, some of these joint investigations being presented in the public version of the Annual Report of SELEC, available also online.

Mrs. Maleeva also had the opportunity to discuss operational matters with the General Police Director, Mr. Vladimir Rebic.

Reassuring Serbian officials of SELEC’s support, the Director General of SELEC used this opportunity to underline the importance of posting by all Member States of Liaison Officers at the SELEC headquarters so as to join efforts in fighting more efficiently trans-border organized crime in the region.

SELEC awards Border Police officers of Bosnia and Herzegovina

On June 6th 2018, on behalf of SELEC, Mr. Eldar Jahic, handed the Certificate of Honor to the Director of Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Zoran Galic, as a recognition for the contribution of the Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina in fighting against organized cross border crime by successfully concluding Operation Dardaneli that was granted the First Place for the second semester of 2017.

Within Operation Dardaneli, under the auspices of SELEC, 21 persons were apprehended in the countries where activities were conducted on the grounds for suspicion that these persons were part of an organized crime group that smuggled around 100 persons, mostly Turkish nationals, over the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union countries.

As an appreciation for the outstanding results and effective international cooperation, SELEC awards the most noteworthy joint investigations carried out with SELEC’s support by the law enforcement authorities of its Member States.

Organized Crime Threat Assessment for South East Europe (OCTA SEE)

On June 5th 2018, SELEC organized at its headquarters in Bucharest the 1st Organized Crime Threat Assessment for South East Europe 2018 (OCTA SEE 2018) Expert Meeting with the participation of representatives of all SELEC Member States.

The meeting was opened by Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu, Director for Operations, who mentioned the importance of the OCTA SEE 2018 for the decision-makers, but as well on a strategic and operational level. Considering the mobility and poly-criminality of the organized crime groups operating in the region, law enforcement agencies should take advantage of the latest technologies and innovations in their work and to increase their capacity in the fight against organized crime. As well, Mr. Ungureanu stated the benefits of increasing cooperation with the other international organizations, such as Europol and Interpol, both strategic and operational.

The main aim of the meeting was to identify information gaps, discuss, analyze and amend the state-of-play of each chapter of OCTA SEE 2018, to plan the 2nd OCTA SEE meeting, as well as to explore the option to have a public version of the assessment.

OCTA SEE is the most comprehensive analytical product developed by SELEC with the support of its Member States, representing a useful instrument for decision-makers in setting up common strategies in combating trans-border organized crime in Southeast Europe.