September 22, 2018

Eurojust and Europol joint operation in Finland and the Netherlands

Joint operation against drug trafficking in Finland and the Netherlands

Since October 2017, Eurojust has been supporting the Finnish authorities in one of the largest investigations of drug trafficking in Finland, and especially in the region of Pirkanmaa, from which most of the Finnish suspects originate.

A larger organised crime group (OCG) established both in Finland and the Netherlands, which has been trafficking drugs, mainly amphetamine, in those countries, was dismantled by the Finnish and Dutch authorities. The estimated value of the drugs (approximately 50 kg) amounts to EUR 2.8 million.

Eurojust facilitated the simultaneous execution of European Investigation Orders and European Arrest Warrants and assisted in the development of coordinated strategies for the joint operations of the Finnish, Dutch, German and Swedish national authorities, which were facilitated through a coordination centre established at Eurojust. Without Eurojust’s intervention, cross-border actions would have been very difficult to perform.

The German and Swedish national authorities supported the Finnish authorities’ investigation and cooperated on the basis of mutual legal assistance requests. In the Netherlands, suspects were arrested and house searches were conducted by the International Legal Assistance Centre (IRC) of Limburg. During these actions, important evidence was obtained for the Finnish authorities. Through the close and active cooperation of the national authorities with Eurojust and Europol, 19 members of the OCG were detained in Finland. A total of 37 individuals (23 in Finland, 14 in the Netherlands) are suspected of five aggravated drug offences.

In addition to drug trafficking, the investigation focused on seven suspected money laundering offences related to the trafficking of drugs between Finland and the Netherlands.

The National Member for Finland at Eurojust, Piia Vottonen, stated: “The active cooperation between Eurojust and the national authorities at the Eurojust coordination centre enabled the success in the case. Eurojust dealt with the judicial aspects within its competence, organised a coordination meeting to discuss the details of the case and set up a coordination centre to support the coordinated actions.

Our core task at Eurojust is to assist judicial authorities in dealing with cross-border criminal cases. In this case, as in so many others, the Finnish authorities took on-the-spot investigative measures during the action day at the coordination centre, which provided the necessary judicial support to the investigation.”

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