Internationally wanted fugitive arrested in Hamburg

Internationally wanted fugitive arrested in Hamburg

The project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSC WB) supported two North Macedonian police officers in Hamburg, Germany, where led by local police forces, a North Macedonian fugitive on the run was arrested. The operation is part of the project’s efforts to support Western Balkans law enforcement agencies to fight serious and organised crime, locate and arrest wanted fugitives.

During a carefully planned, coordinated and executed police operation, on 6th April 2021 D. K. was arrested in Hamburg. The arrested fugitive has 8 arrest warrants to his name and more concretely he was being internationally searched for robbery, aggravated theft, document forgery and fraud, for which in total he is sentenced to around 17 years of prison.

The investigators took the possibility to discuss other cases of fugitives of mutual interest, but also to elaborate on best practices and methods of practical/operational work in locating and arresting fugitives on the run.

Building on the successfully supported operative meeting in Germany, the project CSC WB continues to provide valuable support to the North Macedonian beneficiary institutions by promoting the implementation of EU standards in the daily operational work.  

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of North Macedonia has published the news accordingly, mentioning also the support of the CSC WB: https://mvr.gov.mk/vest/15343

Technical Assistance Facility now receives proposals on a rolling basis

Technical Assistance Facility now receives proposals on a rolling basis

The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) is an operational mechanism providing support to Western Balkan security institutions in response to joint proposals related to the fight against serious and organised crime and/or terrorism.

Following the identification of needs and adequate proposals, the TAF can provide support through joint exercises, practice-oriented exchange and networking opportunities, as well as capacity building events. It can facilitate the provision of EU-wide expertise on countering serious and organised crime and/or counter-terrorism through a methodology based on interactive learning by-doing and exchange formats.

All Western Balkans security institutions including law enforcement authorities, with a mandate in “Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and/or Justice, Freedom and Security” (EU Acquis Chapter 23 and/or 24) can apply on a rolling basis, based on five criteria. For more information, please have a look at the updated “Guide to applicants”.

What has recently changed is that it is no longer necessary to submit proposals until a certain deadline. Proposals can now be submitted on a rolling basis.

If you belong to the list of institutions named above and have a proposal in mind, please get in touch with the respective GIZ Legal Advisor, as named in the guide to applicants.

We look forward to hearing from you!

IMoI project leader CSC WB meets authorities of North Macedonia

IMoI project leader CSC WB meets authorities of North Macedonia

On March 16 and 17, 2021 the CSC WB project leader of the Italian Ministry of Interior, Mr. Carlo Verdiglione, is visiting the Republic of North Macedonia, meeting the Minister of Interior Mr. Spasovski, the Chief of Police Mr. Tasevski and other Macedonian stakeholders involved in the project. The eminently operational nature of the project was highlighted, aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the Macedonian police and the whole region, also in terms of interoperability and enhancement of international police cooperation mechanisms.

Change of Resident EU Prosecutor to Serbia

Change of Resident EU Prosecutor to Serbia

As part of each Embedded Country Team, prosecutors from EU member states are deployed in each country in the region as Resident EU Prosecutor within the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans IPA/2019 (CSC WB). In January 2021, the Resident EU Prosecutor to Serbia left the project after an almost 10 years involvement in the project. She started as a resident expert to North Macedonia and during the last 6 years served in Serbia. The entire project team owes her a lot of gratitude for this dedication over these years. At the same time, the project would like to welcome the new Resident EU Prosecutor to Serbia. Taking up his position in Belgrade the new Resident EU Prosecutor, in presence of a member of the Management Team, responsible for the teams of Resident EU Prosecutors, and the National Legal Advisor in Serbia met with various Serbian authorities on 8 and 9 March 2021. Warm words of welcome, wishes to continue the fruitful cooperation and appreciation for the project were spoken by Republic Public Prosecutor of Serbia Ms. Zagorka Dolovac and Acting Assistant Minister of Justice Mr. Nikola Naumovski, two long-standing project partners of the project CSC WB.” 

Visit of CSC WB experts in Albania aiming at improving interoperability and SPOC establishment

Visit of CSC WB experts in Albania aiming at improving interoperability and SPOC establishment

On 02. March 2021 a delegation of experts from the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSC WB) begun the round of visits aimed at improving the beneficiaries’ abilities in the field of interoperability and the establishment of a SPOC (Single-Point-Contact)  in the region.

Despite the shortcomings related to the COVID 19 pandemic, it has been possible to realize the meetings in Albania, especially due to the determination of the local authorities to introduce the delegation to all the interested parties as well as the stakeholders.

In this regard, Albania is the first country to be visited and the in-depth analysis will last from 01 – 05 March 2021.


Operational Meetings Montenegro: Countering big smuggling of migrant case and further cooperation on ongoing cases in drugs trafficking

Operational Meetings Montenegro: Countering big smuggling of migrant case and further cooperation on ongoing cases in drugs trafficking

One of the indispensable values of the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSC WB) is the organization and facilitation of the operational meetings between the Western Balkans, the EU and international counterparts, aiming at supporting highly complex operations.

Following this approach, the Montenegrin Embedded Country Team of the project has organised two operational meetings. The operational meeting held on February the 25th and 26th 2021 in Gioia Tauro, Italy focused on further information exchange regarding ongoing cases involving drugs trafficking. Participants of the meeting were representatives from Countering Drugs Unit, Police Directorate of Montenegro, Italian Guardia di Finanza, United States Drugs Enforcement Administration, US. Customs and Border Protection from U.S. Department for Homeland Security and Distrectural Directorate for Antimafia and Reggio Calabria Court.

The main topic of the second operational meeting was big smuggling of migrant case, which was held at the Special Police Unite of Montenegrin Police Directorate on February the 23rd 2021. The participants from the Special Police Unit and Sector for Trafficking of Human Beings and Migrations, Liaison Officer from Italy in Montenegro, one representative of the project CSC WB and a representative from the Italian Office for Fight Against Migrations and Trafficking of Human Beings took part in the meeting.

At both meetings the participants agreed direct communication and more trustful cooperation to more efficiently fight the organised crimes.

Regional Network of National CT/CVE Coordinators of the WB – Trustful and committed cooperation

Regional Network of National CT/CVE Coordinators of the WB – Trustful and committed cooperation

The Regional Network of National Counter-Terrorism/Countering Violent Extremism Coordinators of the Western Balkan 6 held its regular biannual meeting on Thursday, 11. February 2021. Together with the local authorities – the National Coordinators and their colleagues – all relevant EU services are participating in the network: EEAS, DG HOME, DG NEAR and the EU CT Coordinator’s Office.

The forum discussed the ways forward in 2021, stressing the unambiguous priority of the EU to systematically fight terrorism and all forms of violent extremism in cooperation with the Western Balkan partners. The implementation of the six bilateral CT arrangements and the support to the WB authorities in their activities on resocialisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of FTF’s and families are considered as priorities by both sides.

The representatives of the IISG project and the Countering Radicalisation in Prisons’ project, implemented by the Council of Europe, presented their progress and informed the participants of the future steps.

In addition to regular topics, the forum touched upon the question on improving the reporting system of the WB 6 to the EU Terrorism Situation & Trends Report (TESAT) by cooperating with the project Countering Serious Crimes in the Western Balkans, implemented by GIZ and the Italian Ministry of Interior. 

The Regional Network of National Counter-Terrorism/Countering Violent Extremism Coordinators, chaired by the EU Regional CT/Security Advisor, represents a unique security exchange platform with and within the WB region by creating trustful and committed cooperation within the region and with relevant EU services.

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.