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Presidential foreword

Dear reader,

Welcome to this year’s third quarterly newsletter, which will take us back to what happened at Eurojust in the past few months while at the same time casting a forward look to events and meetings that lie ahead. Writing this introduction on the eve of the Consultative Forum at Eurojust (14-15 October), it is clear that autumn announces itself as a busy season and I invite everyone to be part of it.

In September, we hosted high-level visits from among others the Belgian Minister of Justice, Mr Vincent Van Quickenborne, the German Parliamentary State Secretary of Justice, Mr Christian Lange, the MEPs Fabienne Keller and Malik Azmani, the new EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Ms Diane Schmitt, and INTERPOL Secretary-General Jürgen Stock. I was proud to present to them the operational results Eurojust’s work has led to in recent months and years, and it was good to see that Eurojust’s mandate resonates strongly at the political level in the EU and in Member States. I also had the great pleasure to warmly welcome Mr Philip Mirrer-Singer to the Eurojust family as the new Liaison Prosecutor for the United States.

In this newsletter, you will find more details about some of the main operations and investigations Eurojust supported over summer such as the fraud scheme of at least EUR 120 million that was halted in Italy in July. In the meantime, we also continued to make our expertise and best practices available to a wider audience through a number of reports. I think for instance of the Eurojust Guidelines on How to Prosecute Investment Fraud that was published as a report and in leaflet form.

Finally, I want to invite you to shift your look to the meetings that we have lined up in the next few weeks and months. In November, Eurojust will host the Annual Meeting of the Focus Group on Migrant Smuggling, followed later by the 30th Genocide Network Meeting and the Eurojust Counter-Terrorism Meeting to name but a few.

I hope you will enjoy reading our newsletter and wish you a happy autumn.

Ladislav Hamran
President of Eurojust
In Focus
15th Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General

On 14 and 15 October, the Prosecutors General and directors of public prosecutions from the European Union for the first time in two years gathered at Eurojust, for their 15th Consultative Forum. The digitalisation of justice and cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office were the main themes of the event.

17th Annual Meeting of the Network of National Experts on Joint Investigation Teams

The meeting ‘Securing the EU beyond its borders: JITs with non-EU countries. New trends, challenges and opportunities’, hosted by Eurojust on 13 and 14 October, discussed recurring issues, best practices and the way forward concerning JITs with the involvement of third countries.

New cost categories for JITs funding
Eurojust’s financial support is available to all practitioners involved in joint investigation teams (JITs). Travel, accommodation, translation, interpretation and transportation costs for transferring items are eligible for reimbursement within the grant procedure. As cross-border cooperation is costly, are there any other types of costs that could be financed?

Specialist expertise of any kind (for example, in cybercrime or VAT fraud investigations) is expensive but often required in the course of investigations. JIT members need communication tools (such as phones and laptops) to stay in touch during cross-border actions, and to have access to modern equipment that eases their workload (such as tablets or hard drives). Furthermore, when within the scope of an ongoing investigation victims and witnesses have to travel or need interpretation, related costs are high.

These are reasons why new cost categories have been included under the Eurojust’s JITs funding programme. As of 11 October, JITs may now also apply for funding of specialist expertise and purchase of low-value equipment (hardware, software). Costs for victims and witnesses are also eligible for financing, keeping in mind the sensitivity of personal data involved in such situations. These long-awaited changes will be beneficial for all JITs and will help to overcome some of the financial constraints at national levels.
Eurojust Virtual Open Day
More than 350 people from the European Union and beyond registered for the Eurojust Virtual Open Day, which was held on 8 October. The event was part of the Just Peace Month, an initiative of the Municipality of The Hague to highlight the important work of international organisations and their contribution towards global peace, justice and freedom. In line with this year’s motto ‘The human stories of peace and justice’, the first session featured a very personal talk with a Eurojust colleague who managed to overcome several challenges during her career. In the second session, a panel of experts from the dedicated Eurojust crime teams discussed how judicial cooperation works in practice and answered a wide range of questions from the audience. The third session focused on career opportunities and the reasons why Eurojust is a workplace like no other. The recording of the Open Day is available as a dedicated YouTube playlist.
Eurojust webinar ‘Prosecuting with EMPACT’

On 8 September, 180 participants from EU Member States and several third countries joined Eurojust’s webinar ‘Prosecuting with EMPACT’. Presenters from Eurojust, Europol and DG HOME took the floor to show various aspects of the EU flagship instrument for cooperation to fight organised and serious international crime. The event highlighted the added value of the EU policy cycle in cross-border criminal investigations and prosecutions, demonstrating opportunities for prosecutors to work with the framework. The recording of the webinar is available as a playlist on the Eurojust YouTube channel.

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Casework highlights
Nine taken into custody over ATM attack tutorials and string of explosive attacks

A joint investigation team (JIT) between the Dutch and German authorities has taken down an organised crime group specialised in explosive attacks on Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). A total of nine suspects have been taken into custody as a result of this 18-month investigation coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

Nearly 90 victims saved from severe labour exploitation in Italy

In the early hours of 4 September, coordinated simultaneous actions in Basilicata (Italy) and in the Republic of Moldova resulted in the takedown of a criminal human trafficking network, saving nearly 90 victims from severe labour exploitation under horrid conditions.

Fraud involving sale of facemasks halted thanks to Eurojust support

An online scam involving the sale of protective materials against COVID-19, such as facemasks, has been halted with the support of Eurojust. During a joint action day conducted on 10 August, 34 searches took place across Romania, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Migrant smuggling with luxury vehicles in Greece halted with Eurojust support

Eurojust has assisted the Greek and Bulgarian authorities to halt an international criminal network involved in migrant smuggling within Greece. During an action day, coordinated by the Agency, 11 suspects were arrested, who organised the transport of irregular migrants from the Greek-Turkish land border in Evros to the Thessaloniki region in the north of Greece.

Eurojust coordinates dismantling of Serbian marijuana trafficking network operating from Spain

The Spanish and Serbian authorities have dismantled a large-scale drug trafficking network, through a joint investigation team (JIT) with the active support of Eurojust. Across both countries, a total of 43 members of a Serbian organised crime group (OCG) have been arrested.

Rapid assistance provided for immediate arrest of Swedish murder suspect in Spain

Eurojust has ensured rapid judicial cooperation between the Swedish and Spanish authorities for the immediate arrest of a murder suspect. Through on-call coordination via the Agency, the Spanish authorities were able to arrest the suspect practically immediately after a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued in Sweden.

Fraud scheme of at least EUR 120 million in Italy halted

Eurojust has supported the Italian authorities in bringing to a halt a long-running fraud scheme based on a series of fake websites and shell companies to evade tax authorities for an estimated EUR 120 million and cheat thousands of customers.

At Eurojust
Visit of French Minister for Justice to discuss international cooperation and upcoming EU Presidency

France’s Minister for Justice, Mr Éric Dupond-Moretti, visited Eurojust to discuss the role of Eurojust in the fight against cross-border crime. He also discussed the upcoming French Presidency of the Council of the European Union with Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran.

eu-LISA and Eurojust consolidate their cooperation in the justice domain

Establishing access for Eurojust to eu-LISA’s new large-scale IT system ECRIS-TCN, as well as the Interoperability architecture that will strengthen the Justice and Home Affairs domain, is the foundation of the three-year Cooperation Plan signed by eu-LISA Executive Director Krum Garkov and Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran.

CrimEx experts start work on development of six cooperation tools

The CrimEx expert group in criminal matters has decided to set up a series of six key tools for judicial and law enforcement cooperation with the South Partner Countries participating in the EuroMed Justice (EMJ) programme.

New US Liaison Prosecutor takes up duties at Eurojust

Mr Philip Mirrer-Singer has started as new Liaison Prosecutor (LP) for the United States at Eurojust. He replaces Ms Rachel Miller Yasser, who was appointed in August 2019. Concurrent with his duties as Liaison Prosecutor, Mr Mirrer-Singer will serve as Trial Attorney at the United States Department of Justice.

Germany confirms its commitment to Eurojust

The Parliamentary State Secretary of Justice at the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Mr Christian Lange, today paid his third visit to Eurojust since 2015. During the meeting, he took stock of the latest developments and discussed the outlook for the future development of Eurojust.

Eurojust reports
Eurojust Written Recommendations on Jurisdiction: Follow-up at the National Level
Eurojust Guidelines on How to Prosecute Investment Fraud
Eurojust Written Requests on Jurisdiction in a Nutshell
Eurojust Guidelines on How to Prosecute Investment Fraud - Leaflet
Eurojust - Providing hands-on support to judicial practitioners
Looking ahead
  • 18 October 2021: EU Anti-Trafficking Day
    • publication of the Joint report of the Justice and Home Affairs agencies’ network (JHAAN) on the protection of the victims of human trafficking
    • publication of the factsheet Eurojust – Supporting judicial authorities in the fight against trafficking in human beings
    • President Ladislav Hamran participating in Twitter Spaces event with Commissioner Ylva Johansson et al, organised by DG HOME
  • 19 October: Eurojust/CoE GLACY meeting
  • 26-27 October: 14th CrimEx meeting (EuroMed Justice Programme)
  • 4-5 November: Annual meeting of the Focus Group on Migrant Smuggling
  • 8-10 November: Technical Assistance Facility, Amman, Jordan (EuroMed Justice Programme)
  • 9-10 November: 30th Genocide Network Meeting
  • 17-18 November: Eurojust Meeting on Counter-Terrorism
  • 23 November: Special CrimEx (EuroMed Justice Programme)
  • 24-25 November: 3rd Forum of Prosecutors General (EuroMed Justice Programme)
  • 1-2 December: EU-US ransomware meeting
  • 2-3 December: EJCN plenary meeting
  • 6-8 December: SIRIUS Annual Conference/Virtual Events
  • Q4: Eurojust Factsheet on Counter-Terrorism
  • Q4: Joint JHAA report on environmental crime
  • Q4: Update of the Guidelines on JITs with third States
  • Q4: Update of the Overview of the case-law by the Court of Justice on the EAW
  • Q4: Update of the Overview of the case-law by the Court of Justice on the principle of ne bis in idem
  • Q4: SIRIUS EU Digital Evidence Situation Report (Eurojust and Europol)
  • Q4: Prosecution of Sanctions (Restrictive Measures) Violations in National Jurisdictions: A Comparative Analysis
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Catalogue number: QP-AH-21-003-EN-Q

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