International cooperation in drug trafficking cases - BSPN Online webinar, 9 February 2021

 

On the 9 of February 2021, the Black Sea Prosecutors Network (BSPN) had an on-line meeting in the form of a webinar on the subject “International cooperation in drug trafficking cases”. The webinar presented the importance of the international cooperation in the investigation of drug trafficking cases and included a case study to be examined during the activity.

EU-ACT, the Action against drugs and organised crime Project, contributes to regional and trans-regional co-operation and coordination amongst prosecutors and investigators through the organisation of operational meetings to discuss the way ahead for trans-national investigations.

The project also supports setting up informal networks to share intelligence and to speed up cooperation. In this context, EU-ACT promoted the development of the BLACK SEA PROSECUTORS NETWORK (BSPN). This is a network of prosecutors specialised in the fight against drug trafficking which contributes to build trust between professionals through direct contact, promoting the exchange of information and identification of best practices in the investigation and prosecution of drugs and its related offences, improving at a regional level the skills of prosecutors. Members of this network are Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, and it is open for other countries of the Balkan Route.

During this session, a presentation was delivered by Ignacio de Lucas, from the Spanish Antidrug Prosecutors Office. The presentation was focused on raising awareness and highlighting the importance of international cooperation in the investigation of drug trafficking when it has been perpetrated by organised crime groups.

In the context of illegal drug traffic investigations, an international component can frequently be identified. This may be a link with another country based on the origin or transit of the substance, the nationality of the suspect, the testimony of law enforcement officials or the expert report about the type of substance seized. Sometimes prosecutors need to conduct parallel investigations in different countries and ensure the admissibility of evidence collected abroad.

The session went on with the participants sharing their own experience in the field of the international cooperation on investigations. Nine prosecutors from Georgia, Ukraine, and Romania attended this webinar.