EMPACT Organised Property Crime – Enhanced involvement of Serbia agreed upon

EMPACT Organised Property Crime – Enhanced involvement of Serbia agreed upon

This week a meeting addressed all the relevant authorities in Serbia working on Organised Property Crime (OPC) in explaining the mandate of EMPACT OPC, presenting its capacities and possibilities. Moreover, the nomination of a National EMPACT Coordinator in Serbia was agreed upon, as well as next steps towards official inclusion of Serbia in Operational Actions of particular relevance. Together with Europol, the Drivers and the Action Leaders the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 has been mandated to improve the ability of the Western Balkans institutions to actively take part in and contribute to the EU Policy Cycle -EMPACT priorities. Therefore, the project is supporting the implementation of this activity and will continue to provide support in strengthening the participation of Serbia in EMPACT Organised Property Crime.

Exchange between Drug Units from North Macedonia and Montenegro

Exchange between Drug Units from North Macedonia and Montenegro

In December 2020 SELEC together with the Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 project supported an operational meeting in Ohrid. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information between representatives from Drug Units from North Macedonia and from Montenegro. The above is related to the common investigation that was implemented on the territory of the Republic of Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which resulted with the seizure of cocaine at the territory of the Republic of Italy and North Macedonia.
The agreement is to continue with the improved communication and cooperation and to exchange operational data between the participants with the purpose to fight smuggling of narcotics, including the international level.

Operational meetings between Montenegro and Albania

Operational meetings between Montenegro and Albania

Under the framework of the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 an operational meeting between Montenegrin Police and Special State Prosecutor and Albanian Police and Montenegrin Special State Prosecutor was held mid of January. The main objective addressed migrant smuggling and dismantling criminal groups. The importance of the two-days operational meetings is multi-layered for the future collaboration between two polices and two prosecutions: establishing of direct communication channels between the two countries regarding the suspicious members of criminal group and targeting possible investigations in the later step. For both Montenegro and Albania this is a valuable opportunity in enhancing the collaboration between the two countries to fight organized crime, strengthening border security and migration management – which are of high priority for the respective countries and also in the enlargement perspective for EU engagement with the Western Balkans.

Deployment of a Liaison Prosecutor of Albania at Eurojust – Tangible results of the project work

Deployment of a Liaison Prosecutor of Albania at Eurojust – Tangible results of the project work

The High Council of the Prosecution in Albania decided in December 2020 to command the prosecutor Ms. Fatjona Memçaj to be deployed as liaison prosecutor at the Eurojust office in The Hague for a period of 2 years and 6 months. This decision was based on the proposal made by the General Prosecutor, Mr. Olsian Çela, manifesting commitment of the Albanian prosecution towards an increased cooperation with Eurojust.

“This is an important step towards the integration of the Albanian prosecution in European organizations focused on the fight against organized crime, trafficking, terrorism, economic crime, cybercrime, etc., through increased cooperation, coordination of investigations and rapid exchange of information”, was stated on the website of the General Prosecutor`s Office in Albania.

This is also a great result of the project work in Albania, as the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 builds upon measures of the previous project phases which are visible in the current project – such as capacity development, establishing a closer cooperation with Eurojust and supporting the introduction and implementation of certain data protection related measures in Albania, which are conditional for the signing of the Cooperation Agreement with Eurojust which finally happened in 2019. The project will further support the strengthening of the cooperation between Albania and Eurojust and in particular the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement by providing support to the Albanian Liaison Prosecutor to Eurojust (co-funding of costs for the deployment in The Hague).

Read the full article of the General Prosecutor`s Office in Albania: http://www.pp.gov.al/web/Komandohet_Prokurori_nderlidhes_i_Shqiperise_prane_Eurojust_1518_1.php#.X-oyWUxFw2x

If interested in reading more about the role of a liaison prosecutor, visit the Eurojust website: https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/states-and-partners/third-states/liaison-prosecutors

Photo rights and source: General Prosecutor`s Office in Albania