20 individuals were arrested for cigarette counterfeiting and drug trafficking.
Experts meet in Brussels to intensify coordination against cyber threats and staff-to-staff relations.
Working together with young people is one of the best ways to stop them from falling victim to crimes like sexual extortion and coercion, cyberbullying, grooming and sexting, online fraud, counterfeit goods and identity theft. Protecting new generations in a cyber world full of threats is a top priority for law enforcement all over Europe.
Europol supported the Central Narcotics Unit and the Central Money Laundering Unit of regional Catalan police (Mossos D’esquadra) in arresting 14 members of an international criminal organisation trafficking cocaine and laundering money. Ten members of the criminal organisation have been sent to prison.
Today, 25 suspects tied to an Albanian-speaking organised crime network were arrested during a simultaneous operation carried out in Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and France which saw the involvement of over 600 police officers on the ground.
A large-scale drug trafficking organisation linked to Colombian and Peruvian cartels was dismantled in Spain and Colombia in an international law enforcement operation. Europol supported the two-year-long investigation, led by the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) in close collaboration with the National Police of Colombia and the US DEA.
Europol supported a pan-European operation targeting the illicit online and offline trafficking of misused and counterfeit medicines. The operation was led by Finnish Customs (Tulli) and the Central office against environmental and public health crime of the French National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale, Office central de lutte contre les atteintes à l’environnement et à la santé publique) and involved law enforcement authorities from 11* EU Member States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The operation took place between 15 and 18 October 2019, the results of which can only be released now for operational reasons.
Today, the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), an international initiative to tackle the most pressing threats of cybercrime, met within the framework of its Board in Rome, Italy, to discuss operational and strategic matters for the year ahead.
On 16 December an investigation by the Financial Police Division of Hellenic Police (Διεύθυνση Οικονομικής Αστυνομίας της Ελληνικής Αστυνομίας), the Central Office to fight Against Environmental and Public Health Crime (OCLAESP) and French Customs (Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects) with the support of experts from Europol resulted in the arrest of nine members in Greece and one in France of an organised crime group responsible for the production and trafficking of illegal anabolic substances and medicines around the world.
An investigation into the trafficking of contaminated clams resulted in dismantling a large organised crime network involving poachers, intermediaries and distribution companies responsible for the food poisoning of at least 27 individuals in Spain. The investigation involved the Portuguese Economic and Food Safety Authority (Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica – ASAE), the Food Fraud Network (FFN) of DG SANTE (European Commission) and was led by the Spanish SEPRONA (Guardia Civil’s nature and environment division) and coordinated by Europol.
Right-wing extremism and terrorism are of increasing concern to EU Member States, the European Union and Europol. An efficient response to the threat must be based on a thorough understanding of the actors and dynamics that drive violent right-wing extremism. For this purpose, more than 100 participants from national agencies, EU institutions and agencies and international organisations gathered at Europol in a closed workshop to learn from leading experts in the field about online dimensions of right-wing extremism and terrorism. The speakers were selected and invited by the ECTC Advisory Network on terrorism and propaganda.
A global law enforcement operation involving 61 countries has identified thousands of illicit activities behind severe marine pollution as well as hundreds of violations and exposed serious cases of contamination worldwide.
An international criminal group specialised in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe through a company from Moldova, has been dismantled with authorities working together from Belgium and the Republic of Moldova, with the support of Europol.
Between 9 and 11 December 2019 Europol coordinated joint raids against the sale of counterfeit euro banknotes on illegal platforms on the Darknet. Over 26 000 banknotes were shipped to buyers.
A successful operation in encrypted chat groups has been carried out by Policia Nacional of Spain. The investigation, begun in 2017 and led by the Central High Tech Crime Unit, has led to search and arrest actions in Spain, Italy and France.
On 4 and 5 December, over 150 delegates from EU Member States, third partner countries and 9 international organisations gathered at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague for the 3rd annual conference: Drugs in Europe: tackling top-level drug trafficking organisations and large scale supply. The conference focused on the fact that the drugs situation in Europe is unprecedented, expanding in scale and complexity as the supply is increasing across all drug commodities.
Austrian law enforcement together with the General Police Inspectorate of The Republic of Moldova (National Investigative Inspectorate) coordinated and supported by Europol, have jointly investigated and arrested a criminal organised crime group suspected of smuggling nuclear materials.
Law enforcement authorities from 18 EU Member States and third parties in a joint investigation with Europol and the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre, facilitated by Eurojust and INTERPOL, have seized over 30 506 domain names that distributed counterfeit and pirated items over the internet during operation IOS X. These included counterfeit pharmaceuticals and pirated movies, illegal television streaming, music, software, electronics, and other bogus products.
Between 18 – 22 November 2019, 60 countries, 56 airlines and 12 online travel agencies were involved in the 12th edition of the Global Airline Action Days (GAAD), an international and multidisciplinary operation to fight fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets with compromised credit card data, which took place at more than 200 airports across the world.
On 21-22 November 2019, Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) organised at its headquarters in The Hague the 16th joint Referral Action Days.
Between 21-24 November, law enforcement and judicial authorities in Europe launched a joint action against the so-called Islamic State (IS) to disrupt the online activities of this terrorist organisation.