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Workshop on the Fight against property crime held in Albania

The Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans (CSC WB IPA 2019) project organized the workshop “Fight against property crime committed by Albanian and WB criminal groups in EU”, 13-14 of June 2023, in Tirana, Albania. The workshop was organized in cooperation with the Albanian State Police, in the framework of Albania’s role as Action Leader of an operational action of the Empact priority “Organised property crime”- Albania and other Western Balkan countries– which aims at preventing and countering the activity of criminal groups from Albania and other Western Balkan countries that carry out criminal actions in the area of organised property crime in EU countries.

This meeting brought together law enforcement agencies from all Western Balkan countries and EU member states, including France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, as well as representatives from UK and EU agencies, such as Europol. The objective of the workshop was to take stock of the current strong cooperation, and to discuss best practices and main challenges regarding the exchange of information between Western Balkan countries, Europol and EU member states. Through case studies’ presentations from Romania, Albania, and EFECC (European Financial and Economic Crime Center)/Europol, the participants also stressed the importance of the use of financial investigation and asset recovery to efficiently tackle the phenomena of organized property crime.

Current trends in organised property crime in the EU emerging from Western Balkans and other criminal groups were also discussed during the workshop. Furthermore, the participants underlined the importance of (pro)actively participating in Empact activities and underlined the need for greater involvement of Western Balkan countries in this priority. The second day was used for operational meetings between Albanian State Police, other Western Balkan countries’ LEAs, EU Member States, and Europol.