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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.

SELEC and its Partners developed a new online tool for law enforcement

On 06th of June 2018, at the Council of Europe, a new online tool will be launched to improve cross border law enforcement cooperation.

The online manual, designed for and restricted to law enforcement and the judiciary, will make more efficient the “controlled deliveries” of illicit commodities.

SELEC participated within Council of Europe’s drug policy network – the Pompidou Group – joining the efforts for creating a handbook in cooperation with Council of Europe’s Committee PC-OC, Eurojust, Europol, Interpol and OSCE.

Controlled deliveries allow illicit or suspect consignments to pass through territory of one or more countries. These deliveries are made under the supervision of the authorities of states involved, with the purpose of investigating an offence and fully identifying the persons involved in it in order to increase the arrests of criminals, dismantle organized crime groups and seize the illegal goods.

Although such schemes have existed for many years already, they have not always worked as planned because law enforcement officials in one country may not be in contact with the right officials in another country, or because inadequate information on coercive measures in another country prevents the schemes from working properly.

By providing information to law enforcement and the judiciary in an easily accessible – and constantly updated format online – the handbook will enhance cooperation across borders, and improve international coordination that is required to effectively carry out controlled delivery schemes.

Visit of the Deputy Director of CARICC

On 31st of May 2018 the Director General, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received at the SELEC Headquarters the visit of Mr. Adil Shayakhmetov, Deputy Director of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC).

During the meeting Mrs. Maleeva briefed about the operational activities of SELEC and the way of functioning of the Center, mentioning also the benefits of being an Operational partner with SELEC.

Following CARICC’s application for becoming an Operational partner with SELEC and the negotiations for concluding the Cooperation Agreement between the two organizations, the parties discussed the current state of play regarding the agreement, and reiterated the readiness to further develop the cooperation.

CARICC - Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, was established by the Memorandum of Understanding on sub-regional drug control cooperation dated May 4 1996, 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).

The 17th session of the SELEC Council

The 17th session of the SELEC Council took place on May 30th 2018, at SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/Romania, with the participation of high-level representatives from SELEC Member States, Operational Partners and Observers, as well as delegates from Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC), European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) , Europol, Police Cooperation Convention Secretariat (PCC SEE) and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

As the Chairmanship of the Council for the year 2018 belongs to Romania, Mr. Andrei Stefan Linta, Director of International Police Cooperation Centre, chaired the meeting, being supported by the Bulgarian Vice-Chairperson, Ms. Veselina G. Kicevska, Head of Section within the Ministry of Interior.

The agenda, consisting in items related to annual reports, budgetary matters, elections, applications for Operational Partner and Observer status, were presented by the Director General of SELEC, Ms. Snejana Maleeva, who also briefed the participants about the latest developments in SELEC. The Annual report, reflecting the achievements of SELEC during 2017, was endorsed by the Council members, while the Action and Working Plan of SELEC for the year 2019 was also approved. All the financial documents, including the Five-Year Financial Plan 2018-2022, necessary for the proper and efficient execution of all activities of SELEC were adopted.

As a result of unsuccessful elections for Director for Operations and Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, the positions shall be re-opened.

During the session, the Council approved Switzerland’s application for becoming an Observer, thus summing up to 21 countries and organizations that have Observer status with SELEC.

SELEC Council is the supreme decision-making body of SELEC consisting in high level officials having the authority to act on behalf of their States.

Visit of the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria

On 24th of May 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received at the SELEC Headquarters the visit of Mr. Georgi Arabadzhiev, Deputy Secretary General within the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria.

The parties discussed issues of common interest, in particular the law enforcement activities developed by Republic of Bulgaria in the framework of SELEC.

Mrs. Maleeva underlined the latest operations and investigations carried out with SELEC support and the excellent results obtained by the Bulgarian officers.

Republic of Bulgaria is an active member of SELEC coordinating also the Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force.

Visit of the Bulgarian and Romanian Parliamentary delegations

On 21st of May 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, received at the SELEC Headquarters the visit of the representatives of the Commission for internal security and public order within the Parliament of Republic of Bulgaria headed by Mr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Chief of the Commission, and members of the Commission for Defence, Public Order and National Security within the Parliament of Romania along with the Commission Chairman, Mr. Dorel Caprar.

Mrs. Maleeva informed the members of the delegations about SELEC’s mission, activities, partnerships and way of functioning, underlining the role of the Liaison Officers posted at SELEC Headquarters and the achievements of the law enforcement authorities of its Member States, including Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, obtained in the framework and with the support of SELEC.

Regional workshop organized by SELEC regarding the connection between firearms trafficking and cybercrime

During 25-26 April 2018, in the framework of Project SIRAS- Strengthening the Fight against Firearms Trafficking in Southeastern Europe, SELEC organized in Tirana/Republic of Albania the Interdisciplinary regional workshop “Links between firearms trafficking and cybercrime” with the purpose of promoting networking, mutual learning and enhancing cooperation in firearms trafficking cases.

The regional workshop that aimed exploring the connection between firearms trafficking and cybercrime, gathered representatives of all Member States of SELEC, of international organizations and of the private sector. The participants presented significant cases investigated in the last years related to links between firearms trafficking and cybercrime (firearms acquired online – surfaceweb and darkweb; weapons acquired using crypto currency, organized crime groups/individuals using Internet as facilitating factor, organized crime groups/individuals using cybercrime as a crime catalyst, online investigations, undercover online investigations).

Project SIRAS is financed by 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, Albanian State Police, Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgarian General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Italian Ministry of Interior. The total budget of the project is EUR 562,072.00, out of which EUR 505,864.80 financed by the European Union.

More information about Project SIRAS is available in the online version of the Annual Report of SELEC for the year 2017.

A total of 8.4 tons of marijuana seized following a joint investigation supported by SELEC

After 14 months of intensive exchange of information through SELEC channel among competent law enforcement authorities of Republic of Albania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Italian Republic and Republic of Turkey, on 12 of May 2018 was finalized  the joint investigation codenamed SUNSHINE with a total of 8.4 tons marijuana seized and 66 persons arrested.

In Republic of Albania 4 operations were carried out, 1.4 tons marijuana seized and 25 persons arrested.

In Republic of Turkey 3 operations were carried out, 3.2 tons marijuana seized and 22 persons arrested.

In Hellenic Republic 2 operations were carried out, 1.6 tons marijuana seized and 17 persons arrested.

In The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 operation was carried out, 80 kg marijuana seized and 2 persons arrested.

In Italian Republic 1 operation was carried out, 2.2 tons marijuana seized.

The Director for Operations of SELEC, Mr. Romulus N. Ungureanu stated with this occasion that “the results of this outstanding operation of the law enforcement agencies from the SELEC Member States are proving once again the excellent cooperation among them in the fight against organized crime groups. I am proud that SELEC managed to offer support in this operation. I am positive as well that this will continue in future operations and I would like to emphasize the tremendous results and work of all investigators and prosecutors involved in this operation”.