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Inauguration Ceremony of the Training & Conference Center Bucharest, December 4th, 2012 - The representatives of Romanian authorities, embassies of SELEC Member States and Partners, as well as representatives of mass-media were invited to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Training & Conference Center, on 4th of December 2012, at the premises of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC). The construction and upgrading of the Training & Conference Center of SELEC was made through a partnership with the U.S. European Command - the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District. The overall costs of the project were $ 730,000. In his welcome speech, Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General of SELEC, addressed many thanks to the United States European Command and US Embassy to Bucharest for their interest and support towards the Center’s capacity, as well as to Romanian authorities and
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Administration of Parliament Palace for their excellent collaboration during the project. H.E. Mr. Mark Gitenstein - U.S. Ambassador to Romania addressed a speech to the participants mentioning that: “The benefits of the project are manifold, both for our host Romania and for the United States as it partners with the thirteen member states to strengthen and improve regional law enforcement. Even existing partners, like the U.S., are anxious to increase their footprint within SELEC. I could not be prouder of SELEC and the collaborative role the U.S. has played as a partner in the development of this institution. It is one of the many bright spots of my tenure here as U.S. ambassador.” On behalf of the Romanian authorities, Mr. Marian-Grigore Tutilescu - Police Chief Quaestor, Head of Schengen, European Affairs and International Relations Department, underlined that “the Training & Conference Center of SELEC will certainly contribute to the extension of the organization’s capacities as regards hosting international events like training and conferences on combating transnational crime in the region for the benefit of the Member States.” Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, Director, Division for Operations, UNODC, stated: „Global concerns, such as illicit production, traffic and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as transnational organised crime, including trafficking in persons, terrorism, prevention, as well as fighting money laudering and terrorism financing represent priorities for all countries and for both SELEC and UNODC.” Mrs. Michelle Garcia – Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, offered a plaque to SELEC, a ceremonial key as a symbol of the existing partnership. At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Bahadir and Mr. Gitenstein cut together the ribbon and thus inaugurated the new Training & Conference Center.
5th Meeting of the Council of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC)
Istanbul, November 8th, 2012 - The 5th Session of the Council of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) took place in Istanbul and reunited the high officials and representatives of the SELEC Members States and partners. One of the most important issues on the agenda of the meeting was the election of SELEC’s Director for Legal and Internal Affairs. Consequently to the election process, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva from Republic of Bulgaria was reelected as the Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC for a new three-year mandate. The Council examined the requests for granting the Operational Partner status to Italian Republic and mandated the SELEC Director General to negotiate the respective cooperation agreement. At the same time, the Council authorized the SELEC Management to proceed with the cooperation with Europol as specified in the SELEC Convention, as well as in the Letter of Intent signed between the two organizations. The meeting was chaired by Mrs. Ivana Javor, the representative of Republic of Croatia, with the support of Vice Chairman – Mr. Dorin Grosu, the representative of Romania. In 2013, the chairmanship of the Council will belong to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. SELEC's AWARDS GRANTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT CASES FOR THE FIRST SEMESTER OF 2012
BUCHAREST, September 11th, 2012 - Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) continued its regular practice for recognition of outstanding law enforcement activities carried out by Police and Customs Authorities of SELEC Member States in fighting trans-border organized crime. In the first semester of 2012, SELEC 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 crime in Southeast Europe.
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SELEC Bi-annual Awards Committee decided to grant the following awards for the first semester of 2012, as an appreciation for the efforts made and the results obtained by the relevant authorities of the Member States: First Prize - Operation VLASINA, a drug trafficking case involving Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Serbia. This operation led to the arrest of 12 persons (including the leaders of an Organized Criminal Group), dismantling of a laboratory of synthetic drug production and seizure of 1.3 tons of precursors, more than 10 liters BMK, 9 kg heroin, 1 kg marijuana, 4 guns, 1 pistol, ammunition and mobile phones. Second Prize - Operation SPIDER, also a drug trafficking case involving Romania and Republic of Bulgaria, which had as a result the arrest of 3 persons and seizure of 40 kg of heroin, 2 vehicles and 4,400 euro. Third Prize - Operation TORONTO, a case in the field of falsifying documents used for illegal migration which involved Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia. The operation had de following outcomes: criminal reports against 10 persons and apprehension of 5 persons involved in falsifying documents; criminal reports against 7 persons who have used fake passports; seizure of 14 false travel documents, guns and computers. - Operation RUSO, in field of credit card fraud/ skimming involving Republic of Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Serbia, which conducted to the arrest of 7 persons and seizure of equipment used for production of forged credit cards, 6 mobile devices, several phone cards, approximately 5,000 euro cash and 19 forged cards.
News and Events Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between SELEC and UNODC
Bucharest, December 4, 2012 - A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 4th of December 2012 between Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), represented by Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), represented by Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, Director, Division for Operations. The purpose of this MOU is to provide a framework of cooperation and understanding and to facilitate collaboration between the two organizations, as well as to strengthen their ability to carry out their respective mission and responsibilities, minimize duplicative efforts and promote the optimal use of resources for the benefit of their common Member States in Southeast Europe. Currently, UNODC has the status of Observer to SELEC. On this occasion, Mr. Lale-Demoz expressed his belief that the MoU will facilitate a better planning and more future joint investigations between SELEC and UNDOC. In this context, SELEC Management was invited to pay a visit to UNODC Headquarters in Vienna in the beginning of next year in order to agree together on further practical steps.
UNODC Afghan Opiate Project
Bucharest, November 26th, 2012 - The second meeting of the informal working group on heroin and acetic anhydride trafficking to/from Europe, initiated by UNODC Afghan Opiate Trade Monitoring Programme as a platform for informal discussions, was organized on 26th of November 2012 at SELEC Headquarters. The main topics of discussions were the latest trends of opiate production in Afghanistan, precursors flows, current changes of heroin trafficking routes in Europe, profiles of the organized criminal groups dominating the drug trafficking in the region etc. The meeting was attended by representatives of different international organizations such as UNODC, International Narcotic Control Board (INCB), EUROPOL, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
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(EMCDDA), as well as law enforcement officers from Austria, Germany, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey, UK and USA. This meeting represented an excellent opportunity of promoting SELEC's key role in countering trans-border criminality in Southeast Europe.
High Level Visit
Bucharest, November 19th, 2012 - A delegation consisting of Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, Mr. Dorel Fronea, Vice President of National Agency for Fiscal Administration and Chief of Customs Authority of Romania, and Mr. Octavian Flesariu, Chief of International Relations Department, Customs Authority of Romania, paid today a visit to SELEC Headquarters, being hosted by the Management. During the visit, there were discussed general issues about the activity of SELEC and the practiced ways of customs cooperation in the region. At the same time, the guests were informed about the activities of the SELEC Anti-Fraud and Anti-Smuggling Task Force, which aims to combat smuggling and customs fraud, including cigarette smuggling, having the valuable support of the police and customs authorities from the Member States. On the occasion of the 4th Meeting of the SELEC Council, held in Bucharest on July 11-12, 2012, WCO expressed its availability to continue co-operating with SELEC under “Observer status” in the fight against trans-border crime, including commercial fraud, drug trafficking, intellectual property fraud, cigarette smuggling etc. The two institutions are also in the process to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding. Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the achieved level of cooperation between the organizations.
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