Successful Joint Investigation Team inspires CEPOL Seminar

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15 June 2012

In June 2010 French law enforcement seized 1.4 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean. These drugs were destined for the European market and the operation prevented them from reaching their destination where they would have caused immeasurable harm to communities across Europe.

Following the seizure, over 30 members of the highly organised drug trafficking network involved in the intended importation were arrested worldwide. The head of the organisation is currently on trial in Sweden facing charges of cocaine trafficking. He is also charged with money laundering offences in Spain. Assets that belonged to the crime group valued at 10 million euros were seized across Europe. These assets included exclusive properties, luxury cars, yachts and a nightclub.

The fantastic results of this case were made possible through cooperation and intelligence sharing between Sweden, Spain and France working together for three years as part of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

CEPOL used this excellent example of a JIT to take a new approach when hosting a Joint Investigation Team seminar at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Police in Lyon, France from 04 to 08 June 2012.

Fifteen judges and prosecutors along with 30 senior law enforcement officers from 18 different European Member states came together for a week to explore both the legal and operational aspects of successfully setting up and running a JIT. Representatives from Interpol, Europol and Eurojust contributed to the seminar which was brought to life through the leading practitioners in this large-scale operation giving presentations of various aspects of the JIT.

The Spanish and French Investigating Judges who led their national JIT teams, the Eurojust national members of Spain, Sweden and France who supported the smooth running of the JIT and Europol experts all actively contributed to the programme. As well as presenting their experiences and giving panel question and answer sessions to share their knowledge and tips, they moderated group workshops. All aspects relating to JITs were covered; when a JIT is appropriate, how to obtain support, how to draft a JIT agreement, applying for funding, running the JIT and overcoming problems including handling evidence in court.

This new, interactive JIT seminar focusing on a real life case puts once again the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Police, a member of the CEPOL network, at the forefront of innovative learning in Europe.

“This is the most ambitious and interesting JIT training I have taken part in!” (Ola Laurell, senior prosecutor, Eurojust national member for Sweden).

“The 2012 CEPOL/EJTN JIT seminar was comprehensive, interactive and extremely well organized. It was centred around an inspiring example of a real, ongoing case presented by the practitioners involved which brought the training to life” (Laura Clark, senior operations officer SOCA , UK)

“In this seminar, we have shared our experiences and a knowledge. We have learnt altogether. That is cooperation!” (Judge José Villodre Lopez, JIT leader for Spain)

“the JIT seminar has come to its maturity. This CEPOL/EJTN course is an exemplification of how a field experience can be successfully transformed into a comprehensive and valuable learning programme. (Commandant Jean Marie Fiquet, Head International Relations and CEPOL course manager at ENSP)

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