01 Jul: Doping crackdown in cycling

(Source: Europol)

Law enforcement and judicial authorities in France, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia have carried out a coordinated action against the use of prohibited substances in cycling races. Based on a request from the French authorities, the Danish Police have also carried out searches at one of the Tour de France hotels in Copenhagen. The international activity was coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

The investigation was led by the French OCLAESP under the supervision of the French Public Prosecutor’s Office in Marseille to look into possible doping allegations of a cycling team participating in the Tour de …

29 Jun: Thirteen arrested over German cashpoint explosions that netted gang over EUR 1.6 million

(Source: Europol)

The last phase of the investigation took place on 28 June, which saw over 100 officers involved on the ground in Germany (North Rhine Westphalia) and the Netherlands.

A total of thirteen gang members were arrested as a result of this investigation:

One arrest in Deurne, the Netherlands (28 June 2022) One arrest in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (9 June 2022) Five arrests in Nijmegen, the Netherlands (8 June 2022) Two arrests in Eupen, Belgium (29 May 2022) Three arrests in Meckenheim, Germany (March 2022) One arrest in Deventer, the Netherlands (March 2022)

This case was led by the …

28 Jun: Three arrests after police action against religious extremist propaganda in Germany

(Source: Europol)

On 28 June 2022, the German Regional Police (Landeskriminalamt) struck against the so-called ‘Caliphate State’ religious extremist organisation. During the action day, coordinated by the Landeskriminalamt Rhineland-Palatinate, German law enforcement officers from six German States raided 50 locations in a joint operation and arrested three individuals. The arrested individuals are suspected members of ‘Caliphate State’, which is a banned organisation in Germany. During the house searches, officers seized three firearms, propaganda material, and more than EUR 270 000. Investigators are currently working on identifying international links.

Germany made membership of this organisation illegal in 2001. The prohibition order …

28 Jun: Europol’s amended Regulation enters into force

(Source: Europol)

Today, on 28 June 2022, key amendments to the Europol Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/794) enter into force, introducing a number of changes to this legal act. Based on the European Commission’s proposal, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed to strengthen Europol’s capacity to better support the EU Member States in combating serious and organised crime and terrorism.

The amendments to the Europol Regulation introduce, in particular, changes in the following areas:

Support of a criminal investigation: Subject to conditions laid down in the amendments to the Regulation, Europol will be able to process personal data without…

27 Jun: What we know about the dirty business of environmental crime in the age of climate change

(Source: Europol)

Environmental crime generates millions of euros of dirty money in the EU alone every year, yet it remains extremely challenging for law enforcement to link cases to organised crime activities. Legal discrepancies among countries, low risk of detection and marginal penalties make environmental crime a highly attractive business for criminal entrepreneurs.

Yet the tide is turning: crimes against the environment are increasingly drawing attention as climate change has become crucial in the agenda of policy makers.

Europol’s new threat assessment Environmental Crime in the Age of Climate Change offers the most comprehensive intelligence picture to date on this …

24 Jun: 10 arrests for sexual exploitation in France, Spain and Portugal

(Source: Europol)

The French Border Police (Police National/Police aux frontières), the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), the Portuguese Judicial Police (Polícia Judiciária) and the Brazilian Federal Police (Polícia Federal), supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a criminal network involved in human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The investigation resulted in simultaneous law enforcement actions in France, Portugal and Spain.

The actions of 20-23 June led to: 14 location searches (7 in France, 4 in Portugal and 3 in Spain) 10 arrests (9 Brazilian and 1 Spanish nationals) 8 victims interviewed in France (7 Brazilian and 1 Colombian) Seizures include vehicles, electronic…

24 Jun: 49 individuals across Europe arrested in major blow to eels trafficking

(Source: Europol)

A joint operation by European law enforcement entities has dealt yet another major blow to organised crime groups involved in global glass eel trafficking. Operation Lake VI ran from November 2021 to June 2022, with Europol, EFCA, OLAF, and the EU Commission’s DG SANTE coordinating law enforcement authorities from 24 countries* across Europe and around the globe. In the operation’s current season, 27 701 inspections were carried out all over Europe, which led to the arrest of 49 individuals and the seizure of 1 255 kilograms of glass eels worth about EUR 1.9 million in total.

Operation Lake …

23 Jun: Human traffickers luring Ukrainian refugees on the web targeted in EU-wide hackathon

(Source: Europol)

On 23 May 2022, an EMPACT coordinated online joint action day targeted criminal networks grooming Ukrainian refugees for sexual and labour exploitation via websites and social media platforms. Law enforcement authorities from 14 EU Member States* took part in this hackathon**, coordinated by the Netherlands. The investigators monitored different online platforms to detect criminal networks attempting to recruit vulnerable Ukrainian refugees.

The online investigations focused on the monitoring of posts offering help to refugees for transportation, accommodation and work. Dating sites and recruitment websites were monitored, as well as platforms offering sexual services. The countries bordering Ukraine focused …

21 Jun: Phishing gang behind several million euros worth of losses busted in Belgium and the Netherlands

(Source: Europol)

A cross-border operation, supported by Europol and involving the Belgian Police (Police Fédérale/Federale Politie) and the Dutch Police (Politie), resulted in the dismantling of an organised crime group involved in phishing, fraud, scams and money laundering.

The action day on 21 June 2022 led to: 9 arrests in the Netherlands 24 house searches in the Netherlands Seizures including firearms, ammunition, jewellery, electronic devices, cash and cryptocurrency

The criminal group contacted victims by email, text message and through mobile messaging applications. These messages were sent by the members of the gang and contained a phishing link leading to a …

08 Jun: Suspect arrested in Slovakia for spreading hate speech and 3D printed weapons manuals

(Source: Europol)

An investigation by the Slovak National Crime Agency (Národná kriminálna agentúra/NAKA), the Slovak Military Intelligence (Vojenské spravodajstvo), the Slovak Police (Príslušníci / PZ SR), supported by the Czech National Organized Crime Agency (Národní centrála proti organizovanému zločinu/NCOZ), the US FBI, Europol and Eurojust, led to the arrest of a dangerous right-wing extremist. The individual, known in the international far-right cyberspace, is suspected of spreading extremist hate speech and terrorist activities. Linked to groups and individuals spreading neo-Nazi, far-right and white supremacist extremist propaganda, he is part of the so-called Siege extremist movement. This online extremist community is connected …