European Institutions

Council of the EU and Parliament reach agreement on Directive for information exchange between law enforcement authorities
On 29 November, the Czech Republic Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached provisional agreement on a Directive to revise and streamline procedural aspects of information exchange between law enforcement authorities. The Directive, which will still require approval at Council and Parliament level prior to its formal adoption, is targeted to ensure law enforcement authorities have reciprocal access to investigative data in other Member States. Member States will have a single point of contact – an “SPOC” – operational on a 24/7 basis and for urgent cases, information requests must be granted within 8 hours if contained in a database to which the SPOC has direct access, and within 3 days if the SPOC can obtain it from other public authorities or private parties. In all other cases, the requested information should be shared within 7 days. Further, the Europol-managed Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) will become the default communication channel under the Directive. (link)

Europe-wide Europol operation against high-risk criminal network results in dozens arrested
In the past weeks, an unprecedented international operation – called operation “Desert Light” – involving judicial and law enforcement authorities from 11 countries resulted in the arrest of 49 individuals so far. The suspects were part of a high-risk criminal network considered as one of the most dangerous in the EU, involved in large-scale drug trafficking but also money laundering and illegal enrichment among others.

Those arrests come after parallel investigations in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into the activities of this network with the support of Europol. Following the success of this operation, the Head of Europol’s Serious Organised Crime Centre – Jari Liukku – underlined the importance of cross-border cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities at European and international level. (link)

Country News

Other News
International border police community meets in Warsaw
At the end of October, Frontex – the European Border and Coast Guard Agency – hosted the 25th International Border Police Conference in Warsaw. This event brought together border and coast guard executives, as well as representatives of EU bodies and international organisations. During this year’s edition, participants discussed contingency plans for border emergencies, as well as the challenges that border and coast guard officers have faced in recent years such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Frontex Executive Director Aija Kalnaja highlighted that in order to address those challenges at operational level, there needs to be enhanced international cooperation and partnership building in border management. (link)

Eurojust coordinated action against massive international investment fraud
On 8 and 9 November, Eurojust and Europol supported a coordinated action against a massive investment fraud involving cryptocurrencies at the request of the Spanish, German and Finnish authorities. During those operations, 15 call centres and 5 suspects from 5 different countries in Europe were arrested. The alleged suspects belong to an organised criminal network and presented themselves as brokers using call centres in several countries, as well as online platforms in order to commit fraud. The investigation results showed that hundreds of thousands of investors all over the world have been victims to this network since 2016, and the damage caused is estimated at €50 million per quarter. (link)


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