Europol discloses details of large-scale operation in BiH

NEWS 22.06.202316:04 0 komentara

Europol agency said in a press release on Thursday that it supported Bosnia and Herzegovina in identifying and dismantling a large-scale criminal network involved in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, money laundering and corruption, which resulted in arrest of a total of 38 organised crime group members, including eight who hold positions in Bosnian national administration. Pročitaj više

“The investigation, initiated in 2021, focused on the activities of a criminal network involved mainly in the production and trafficking of drugs in the Western Balkans, the EU and South America. Important leads, which served the identification of criminal actors, were obtained from operational analysis of encrypted communications. Europol supported the national authorities in developing their investigative activities by supplying them with important insights obtained from the suspects’ communications through the encrypted ANOM and SkyECC applications, the latter taken down in 2021,” according to EUROPOL.

It also said that the investigation, initiated by the EU police aagency, involved the Federation entity's Ministry of Interior, Republika Srpska entity Ministry of Interior, the State Border Police and the State Prosecutors Office, as well as law enforcement and judicial authorities from Germany.

“The information exchange between different national authorities uncovered a large-scale organisation, spread across two continents and with some members holding positions in the national administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 19 June, which saw the eighth action day organised within this three year-long operation, the national authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina arrested six individuals. These arrests bring the number of individuals arrested for their links to this organised crime group up to a total of 38,” the press release said.

Total results of the operation included the arrest of 38 suspects, eight of which are holding positions in the national administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, arrest of one high value target, who was arrested in Germany an extradited to Bosnia, as well as the seizure ofof over 300kg cannabis and real estate and cash with a total value of over EUR 6 million.

“Europol supported the operation since its very beginning with communications analysis that enabled national authorities to identify suspects and uncover their criminal activities. Europol facilitated the information exchange as well as coordinated and financed operational meetings. Parallel operational analysis by Europol, delivered in the form of intelligence packages, shed light on the ramifications and influence of the criminal network. Europol also supported the national authorities by deploying experts to the field to provide investigators with real-time analytical support and technical expertise,” according to the press release.

As of June 2023, Europol is further strengthening its operational cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina with the establishment of a single National Contact Point for all BiH law enforcement authorities with Europol, connecting them to the Europol Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) system.

The creation of this National Contact Point, who will coordinate the communication between relevant BiH law enforcement authorities and Europol, is accompanied by the deployment of a BiH Liaison Officer to the agency. The BiH Liaison Officer will join the large community of almost 300 Liaison Officers, representing more than 45 countries, who are already hosted at Europol’s headquarters, the agency announced in the press release.

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