Organized crime expert meeting highlights key INTERPOL security role

LVIV, Ukraine –Organized crime experts have concluded an INTERPOL meeting with a call to boost data exchange on high-ranking Eurasian gang members to strengthen the global response to security threats they pose.

Targeting Transnational Organized Crime (TOC)

With INTERPOL’s Project Millennium developed to help countries identify the people and companies behind Eurasian TOC (i.e.: from East Europe and the Caucasus), the Lviv meeting allowed investigators to share their experiences, exchange intelligence, and identify emerging crime trends and modus operandi that could affect them.

To address the growing threat and increasing numbers of organized crime syndicates in the region, more than 70 participants from 21 INTERPOL member countries took part in the three-day (22 to 24 May) meeting hosted by Ukraine’s National Police.

The meeting was opened with a key note by the Deputy Head of the Ukraine, National Police, Mr Viacheslav Abroskin.

Tailored to regional needs

High on the agenda was the need to identify “Thieves in Law” or “Thieves professing the code”, the highest ranking organized crime members who control the activities of less powerful criminal groups following their own code of honour.

Their influence can extend across multiple crime networks and involve numerous crime areas such as financial or property crime, or trafficking in drugs or human beings.

Focusing on the illegal financing of legitimate companies, where “Thieves in Law” often manipulate businesses and control entire sectors of a country’s economy, delegates saw how proactively sharing and contributing intelligence to the new Millennium Analysis File (MAF) is key to enabling the world’s police to tackle this regional issue from a global perspective.

Strengthening investigations with INTERPOL capabilities

Project Millennium has identified the “Thieves in Law” phenomenon as a priority area of TOC investigations, particularly as they tend to feed common criminal funds worth billions of dollars of investment to launder ill-gotten money.

With the MAF also programmed to identify ‘Thieves in Law’, investigators saw how a more active and systematic population of the MAF with operational intelligence and evidence would strengthen national investigations and enable them to perform regional criminal analysis through a global lens. 

Previous Millennium Working Group Meetings have been organized in Moscow, Russia (June 2017), Tbilisi, Georgia (September 2016) and Prague, Czech Republic (February 2015).

Delegates attending the INTERPOL meeting represented: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the USA as well as Europol.