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Presidential foreword

Dear reader,

Welcome to the very first Eurojust newsletter of 2022. It has been a busy first quarter at Eurojust, and our overview offers a lot to look back at.

In this newsletter, you will find snapshots of the latest developments at Eurojust, links to our 2021 Annual Report and many other recent publications, and introductions to two of our new colleagues who joined since the beginning of the year, Mr Alexander van Dam (National Member for the Netherlands) and Mr Christopher Williams (Liaison Prosecutor for the United Kingdom).

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the Netherlands in the past quarter has rang in the gradual return to the office, and we see the Eurojust building develop again into the vibrant hub it was before the pandemic. With in-house representation of 37 countries, a workload that exceeded 10.000 cases in 2021 and a total of 457 coordination meetings held in that same year, it is Eurojust’s calling to be at the heart of judicial cooperation in Europe. The war in Ukraine that has been unfolding since 24 February has highlighted this further. The JHA Council of 4 March mandated Eurojust to take a leading role in the judicial dimension of the EU response to the war. You will find more information on the first results of the work that has been done since further on in this newsletter.

Our other operational work continues as before in the meantime, and I am proud of Eurojust’s work in getting justice done. In the past three months, our work has been instrumental in, among others, freezing EUR 120 million of Lebanese assets and cracking down on a network of human traffickers in Romania, Germany and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Eurojust continues its groundbreaking work with having the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) signed up for a first time to a joint investigation team with Sweden, and with further mainstreaming environmental crime in cross-border judicial cooperation. On 30 March for instance, Eurojust and the French EU Presidency brought together a high-level panel to discuss how we can step up the fight against environmental crime.
And last but not least, let me invite you to take a closer look at some of our new publications, such as the report on Eurojust’s casework on victims’ rights.

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

Ladislav Hamran
President of Eurojust
In Focus
Eurojust supports joint investigation team into alleged core international crimes in Ukraine

The responsible national authorities of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine signed a JIT agreement on 25 March to enable the exchange of information and facilitate investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity and other core crimes. Participation in the JIT may be extended to other EU Member States, third countries or other third parties in due course.

Statement of Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran following visit of EU Ministers of Justice on Ukraine

Eurojust has hosted a special meeting of EU Ministers of Justice, organised together with the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to discuss the role of the Agency in coordinating investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity and other core international crimes allegedly committed in Ukraine.

Eurojust is looking for its future Administrative Director

Our Agency is looking to appoint a leader with high levels of personal integrity, political savvy and diplomacy. The ideal candidate should have a proven track record in leading and managing change, while delivering high-quality administrative support within resource constraints. The deadline for applications is 28 April.

Annual Report: Eurojust supports more than 10.000 cases for first time in history

Eurojust supported 10.105 cross-border criminal investigations in 2021, reaching the highest number of cases since operations began 20 years ago. This important milestone of more than 10.000 cases represents an almost 50-fold increase compared with 2002. Eurojust’s casework load rose by 15% compared with 2020.

High-level conference of French EU Presidency on 20 years of judicial cooperation and use of European Arrest Warrant

In light of the 20 years jubilee of Eurojust, the French Ministry of Justice organised a high-level conference on cross-border criminal justice cooperation. The event focused on the role the European Arrest Warrant plays in countering terrorism and how to guarantee a good balance between its effectiveness and fundamental rights.

Casework highlights
Major operation against call centre fraud: 108 persons detained in Latvia and Lithuania

In a coordinated operation against large-scale call centre fraud and money laundering, the authorities in Latvia and Lithuania have detained 108 persons with support from Eurojust and Europol. Eurojust assisted in setting up a joint investigation team into the case at very short notice.

Action against money laundering freezes EUR 120 million worth of Lebanese assets, seizing bank accounts

Authorities from France, Germany and Luxemburg carried out extensive measures to freeze EUR 120 million worth of assets linked to the investigation of a money laundering case in Lebanon, during an action day on 25 March. Five properties in Germany and France were seized as well as several bank accounts.

Rapid arrest in Hungary via Eurojust of suspected killer of Argentinian rugby star

With overnight support from Eurojust, the alleged suspect of the murder of the well-known Argentinian rugby player, Federico Martin Aramburu, was arrested in the early morning of 23 March in Hungary. The Agency enabled the rapid execution of a European Arrest Warrant, before the end of the legal preventive custody.

Crackdown on a criminal network dealing with human trafficking, pimping and blackmail

With Eurojust support, a simultaneous operation led by the Romanian authorities took place in Romania, Germany and the United Kingdom targeting an organised criminal group accused of pimping, human trafficking, blackmail, usury and money laundering. Twenty-two suspects were detained in Romania.

Eurojust assists in setting up first joint investigation team with EPPO at request of Swedish authorities

Eurojust has, for the first time, supported the setting up of a joint investigation team with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This was done at the request of the EPPO and the Swedish authorities, in order to investigate a major case of VAT fraud. The JIT is the first ever to involve the EPPO since taking office in 2021.

Eurojust-supported action leads to arrest of 29 people smugglers in Italy and Albania

Authorities in Italy, Greece and Albania have taken a coordinated action against a network of people smugglers, which transferred at least 1100 migrants irregularly to the European Union. During an action day with the support of Eurojust, Europol and Frontex, 29 suspects were arrested in the three countries involved.

Syrian official sentenced to life for crimes against humanity with support of joint investigation team assisted by Eurojust

A German-French joint investigation team, which was set up with support of Eurojust and the Genocide Network, made a significant contribution to the investigations that led to this landmark judgment at the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz.

Support to joint investigation team targeting crimes against Yezidi victims

The judicial authorities in Sweden and France have set up a joint investigation team to support proceedings involving core international crimes committed by foreign terrorist fighters against the Yezidi population in Syria and Iraq. Eurojust has supported the setting up of the JIT.

At Eurojust
Eurojust and the French Presidency of the Council of the EU hold symposium on environmental crime

Co-hosted by Eurojust and the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the event brought together high-level experts in environmental law. The objective was to trace the evolution of the fight against environmental crime within the EU, as well as to consider future prospects in this area.

Judicial training institutes discuss international cooperation in criminal matters

EuroMed Justice, the National Institute of Magistracy in Bucharest and the Belgian Judicial Training Institute have co-hosted a round table to share practices on the development of curricula on international judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

New Liaison Prosecutor for United Kingdom at Eurojust

Christopher Williams has taken up his duties as new Liaison Prosecutor for the United Kingdom at Eurojust. He replaces Samantha Shallow, who was previously National Member and later LP for the UK at the Agency. Mr Williams is a senior legal expert with long-standing experience as a defence lawyer and, later, as a prosecutor dealing with cross-border cooperation and fraud cases.

Latin American ministers in charge of security matters visit Eurojust to boost cooperation against organised crime

Ministers in charge of security matters from Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic visited Eurojust to discuss cooperation in the fight against serious organised crime.

New National Member for Netherlands at Eurojust takes up duties

Alexander van Dam has started as the new National Member for the Netherlands at Eurojust, succeeding Han Moraal. Mr van Dam has long-standing experience in international judicial cooperation and was previously Prosecutor General for Aruba and Acting Director of the Head Office of the National Prosecution Service in The Hague.

Eurojust reports
Eurojust Meeting on Counter-Terrorism - Outcome Report
Intellectual Property Crime Case-Law of National Courts
Annual Report 2021: 20 years of criminal justice across borders
Report on Eurojust's casework on victims' rights
Addendum – Prosecution of sanctions (restrictive measures) violations in national jurisdictions: a comparative analysis
Survey on Eurojust publications

Are you familiar with Eurojust reports, guidelines and other publications? How useful are they for your daily work on cross-border criminal justice cases? Take our short survey here to help us improve our publications to better suit your needs.

Looking ahead
  • April: Eurojust’s Casework on Corruption: Insights 2016-2021
  • April: Victims' Rights brochure
  • 23 May: EU Day against Impunity (report and leaflet), main topic: practical assessment of the 'Strategy of the EU Genocide Network to combat impunity for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the European Union and its Member States'
  • May/June: Eurojust Casework Report on Money Laundering
  • 14-15 June: 12th EJCN Plenary Meeting (main topics: cryptocurrencies & the war in Ukraine from a cybercrime and digital evidence perspective)
  • 15-16 June: EU-US ransomware workshop
  • 20 June: Meeting of the SIRIUS Single Point of Contact (SPoC) Network
  • June: 20 years of criminal justice across borders (anniversary book)
  • Q2: EJCN Meeting Outcome Report
  • Q2: Leaflet on Contact Point network

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Catalogue number: QP-AH-22-001-EN-Q

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