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March 23, 2023

First Prize granted to Romanian Police for Phoenix/Bruno operation

The Anti-drug Service with the Directorate for Organised Crime Combat (DCCO) within the Romanian Police has been awarded by the European South-East Centre of Law Enforcement (SELEC) for the Phoenix/Bruno Operation.

The ceremony at the SELEC headquarters was attended by representatives of the Romanian Police, chief commissioner of Police, Vasile Costea, Anti-drug Service chief with the DCCO, chief commissioner of Police, Victor Nistor, chief of Office for Combating Transboundary Drug Trafficking with the DCCO, and under-commissioner of Police Irina Bacioiu, case officer, as well as Operations director, Cristian Duta and liaison officer on Romanian Police behalf, Eliodor Tanislav, both from the SELEC, a release  issued on Friday to Agerpres, informs.

According to the source, the Phoenix/Bruno joint operation was a case in drug trafficking, unfurled in June 2014 – January 2015, between the competent authorities with the Romanian Police and the Customs National Authority of Bulgaria. The goal of this case was to cancel an organised crime group involved in the cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe, by using the Balkan route, and furthering to Middle East.

“A total amount of 55.625 kg of cocaine was confiscated on Romania and Bulgaria territories, five members of a multinational group of organised crime being arrested. An arrest warrant was issued for the group’s organiser and the car used in the trafficking was seized, too” the release adds.

The awards are granted twice per year and represent recognition of outstanding law enforcement activities carried out by Police and Customs Authorities of SELEC Member States in fighting trans-border organized criminality. The goal of the awards is to provide not only a material prize, but also to motivate the law enforcement authorities to use cooperation avenues available through SELEC for fighting trans-border organized crime in Southeast Europe.

Handing over the award, Mr. Cristian Duţă declared: “I would like to congratulate our colleagues from the Romanian Police for this outstanding accomplishment. Having the valuable support of the law enforcement authorities from Bulgarian Customs Agency, they managed to dismantle an organized crime group involved in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe. This is an excellent example of successfully conducted joint investigation, using SELEC legal framework, operational assistance and communication channels. Combating drug trafficking represents a priority in the agenda of SELEC, which will continue by any means to support, encourage and motivate the Member States’ efforts to exchange information, to organize joint investigations and controlled deliveries and to disrupt organized crime groups with trans-national links and sources.”

The joint investigation codenamed „PHOENIX/BRUNO” was a case in the field of drug trafficking, carried out between June 2014 and January 2015, involving the law enforcement authorities from Romanian Police and Bulgarian Customs. The aim of this joint investigation was to dismantle an organized crime group involved in cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe, along the Balkan route, and further on to Middle East.

“Due to the excellent co-ordination mechanism established via SELEC between the competent law enforcement and judicial authorities from Romania and Republic of Bulgaria, the operation „PHOENIX/BRUNO” represents a best practice example of successfully conducted trans-border operation in counternarcotics,” shows the press release.

SELEC has awarded its prizes for best outcomes in the fight against organised crime for the 2nd half-year of 2014.

SELEC is a unique operational organization in which Police and Customs Liaison Officers from 12 Member States (Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey) work together in direct cooperation, coordinate joint investigations and facilitate exchange of information.



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