Representatives from police services and prosecution offices of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia completed a three-day workshop organized by the OSCE in Belgrade on 19 December 2019 on promoting closer co-operation and mutual legal assistance requests among countries of South-Eastern Europe to fight organized crime, particularly through the recovery of criminal assets.
The trainers gave insights into the international financial investigation landscape, providing a detailed presentation of international co-operation networks and mechanisms. They also highlighted the importance of non-conviction based confiscation and explained how to use a pre-mutual legal assistance request. The practical exercises offered the participants the opportunity to learn about the effective use of mutual legal assistance requests as well as how to mitigate the risk of failure.
The workshop was organised by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, in co-operation with the OSCE Mission to Serbia. It is part of an extra-budgetary project being implemented by the OSCE on strengthening the fight against transnational crime in South-Eastern Europe through improved regional co-operation in asset seizure, confiscation, management and re-use. The project is being conducted with financial support from the United States and Italy.
The workshop will be followed by a judicial review of asset seizure cases in each country in order to identify common gaps and solutions to ensure a more coherent and consistent application of this measure to fight organized crime.