The U.S and European Law Enforcement
With a special Acknowledgment to EUROPOL
Interview with the Deputy Director of EUROPOL, Operations Department
In the exclusive interview series, this time we have the occasion of getting a glimpse inside of the European Union’s Law-Enforcement Agency, and the honour of an interview with Mr Wil van Gemert, Deputy Director of EUROPOL the Operations Department.
Q: In the recent years, EUROPOL and the U.S Law-Enforcement Agencies have been expanding their strategic cooperation by signing numbers of new agreements on various issues from Cyber Crime to Counter-Terrorism, that could enable both sides to work more effectively to tackle the un-foreseen challenges of 21 century.
- How this close partnerships at the Law-Enforcement level can benefit the both sides, in general?
The US is by far the most important partner of Europol, and especially in the fight against cybercrime. Both in the field of online child sexual exploitation and cyber-attacks, the FBI, the US Secret Services and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are making invaluable contributions to EU efforts to arrest criminals. Because both the EU and the US face common threats from terrorism and organised crime, transnational law enforcement cooperation is particularly important to enhance the security of citizens, and even more necessary when it comes to fight against borderless crimes, namely cybercrimes. Indeed, cooperating for more than 11 years, Europol and the US recently agreed on joining efforts to counter foreign fighters and to combat illegal immigration, especially as exploited by organised crime groups. Europol cooperation initiatives with non-EU countries and international organisations are crucial to exchange strategic and technical information, such as trends and developments in the methods used to commit offences or new methods of criminal intelligence analysis. Every year, Europol supports approximately 500 cases involving US authorities and joint operations lead to the arrest of top targets on both sides of the Atlantic. Europol’s cooperation with US authorities has reached an unprecedented level. Europol is now perceived as an efficient and reliable point of contact in many key crime areas in Europe and US authorities see Europol as an instrument to maximise their engagement with investigators in the Member States.
The U.S-European Law-Enforcement in Operation Avalanche
On 30 November 2016, after more than four years of investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office Verden and the Lüneburg Police (Germany) in close cooperation with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Department of Justice and the FBI, Europol, Eurojust and global partners, dismantled an international criminal infrastructure platform known as ‘Avalanche’. The Avalanche network was used as a delivery platform to launch and manage mass global malware attacks and money mule recruiting campaigns. It has caused an estimated EUR 6 million in damages in concentrated cyberattacks on online banking systems in Germany alone. In addition, the monetary losses associated with malware attacks conducted over the Avalanche network are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of euros worldwide, although exact calculations are difficult due to the high number of malware families managed through the platform. December 1, 2016 © EUROPOL
Am 30.11.2016 hat die Staatsanwaltschaft Verden in Zusammenarbeit mit der ZKI Lüneburg und internationalen Partnern Avalanche ausgehoben. Das Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) ist dabei unterstützend tätig (Pressemitteilung vom 01.12.2016). Continue to read the article
EUROPOL and the U.S Law-Enforcement strengthening their cooperation
On April 7th in Washington DC, the Deputy Director of Europol Operations Department, Wil van Gemert, and the FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed a new Agreement to intensify the joint US-EU Law-Enforcement combat against foreign terrorist fighters.
The U.S-European Law-Enforcement in a closer Partnership-4
The Director of EUROPOL Rob Wainwright and the Executive Associate Director of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Peter Edge, met in the Hague and singed a new agreement which brings the two Law-Enforcement Agencies from the both sides of Atlantic closer, enabling them to work in more synchronized and effective ways in the Operations against organized crimes.
The Director of EUROPOL Rob Wainwright and the Executive Associate Director of U.S ICE Peter Edge. The Hague February 17, 2016 © EUROPOL
With this Agreement, the U.S ICE enters a new membership in Europol’s Focal Point Sustrans, the ongoing Operations that targets organized crimes, money laundering, Human trafficking/smuggling and the irregular migration. This Agreement is an addition to the EUROPOL’s Focal Point Checkpoint Operations, to which the U.S ICE is already part of it.
“Simply put, when we follow the money, we find criminals. Some criminal enterprises focus on smuggling and Cybercrime, others drugs and arms trafficking, but all of them – including those engaged in terrorism finance – try to manipulate financial systems for their gain, which is another avenue we can use to disrupt and dismantle their operations. Today’s signing signals HSI’s commitment to the International Cooperation that is crucial to Law-Enforcement success in this arena.” highlighted US ICE Executive Associate Director Peter Edge. The Hague February 17,2016 © EUROPOL
“In this technological era, nations around the World cannot tackle criminality on their own. Money laundering is a complex and relentless offence which requires a concerted International response. I am therefore delighted to see such an important partner join our continued efforts to build a borderless Law-Enforcement community.” stated the Director of EUROPOL Rob Wainwright.The Hague February 17, 2016 © EUROPOL
The U.S and European Law-Enforcement in closer Partnership-3
The Director of U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey travelled to The Hague to meet with the Director of EUROPOL to discuss rage of subjects including furthering the partnerships between the FBI and the Europe Law-Enforcement to the closer level on combating with Cybercrime.
In the European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC) at Europol HQs the Director of FBI spoke on Global Threats ( Cybercrime and Terrorism) and highlighted:
“The perception that terrorism only happens in big cities like New York, London, or Paris is not true.There are troubled people all across the United States and in every country around the world. That’s why partnerships are critical. We all share a common interest in keeping our nations safe from both crime and terrorism. Together, we can identify common threats and common needs, and by joining forces, we’re all better able to protect the people we serve,”
“No law enforcement or intelligence agency alone – no country alone – can defeat crime and terrorism and keep its streets safe. But all of us, standing together – we are strong, unbending, and unbreakable.”
On the same Subject during the convention the Director of Europol Rob Wainwright stated:
”Now more than ever we understand the importance of cross-border Law-Enforcement cooperation to tackle global threats, such as terrorism and Cybercrime. In this challenging time, building up strong partnerships among international law enforcers, and ensuring fast and efficient information exchange, are key to safeguarding our citizens and our collective security.”
“In this respect, cooperation between Europol, the FBI and other international partners, has proved to be exemplary, in particular in combatting cyber attacks and the sexual exploitation of children online. This strong collaboration demonstrates what law enforcement agencies can achieve together when trusted relationships are established.”
16 September 2015
The U.S-European Law-Enforcement in a closer Partnership-2
The U.S Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch visited the Europol’s HQ in the Hague and met with the Director of Europol Rob Wainwright for a discussion on deepening cooperation between the United States and Europol to combat Cybercrime.
During her visit the U.S Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch expressed:
“The European Cybercrime Centre has already proved itself to be an indispensable Leader in the global effort to fight Cybercrime, to protect infrastructure and innovation and to safeguard innocent people from fraud, exploitation and intrusions on their privacy,” “This Centre exemplifies that innovative approach and serves as a model for the kind of open communication, efficient information-sharing and nimble responsiveness that we know is highly effective for ensuring our Cyber Security going forward – and the history of unparalleled cooperation among the United States, partner Nations and EC3 shows the virtues of confronting this problem hand in hand.”
On partnership with U.S highlighted the Director of Europol Rob Wainwright:
“The US is a very important partner in the fight against Cybercrime, in particular in the fields of online child sexual exploitation and cyber attacks. No crime is as borderless as Cybercrime, with huge implications for citizens, businesses and our collective security. Cooperation between Europol and its US partners, such as the FBI, the US Secret Service and ICE, has proved to be exemplary. Together, we have carried out successful global operations which have resulted in the taking down of botnets and Tor hidden services, and the arrest of criminals involved in sexual crimes against children online. The deployment of a US prosecutor to The Hague will further reinforce our capacity to coordinate effectively during all stages of an investigation.” ©EUROPOL
The U.S-European Law-Enforcement in a closer Partnership-1
The U.S and European Law-Enforcements are forming a closer partnership and cooperation
Press Release by Delegation of the European Union to the USA
Increased Law Enforcement Cooperation between U.S and Europe
The close and trusted cooperation between the U.S. and Europe is getting even tighter. Two senior officials from Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, visit Washington, DC this week.
Head of Europol Operations, Deputy Director Wil van Gemert and Head of Counter Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Manuel Navarrete, have an extensive program of talks with counterparts across the Administration, including the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Homeland Security Investigations), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of the Treasury, United States National Central Bureau Interpol, and the Intellectual Property Rights Task Force.
During their visit, Deputy Director van Gemert and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Kevin K McAleenan signed two significant agreements relating to foreign fighters and illegal immigration.
The Focal Point Travelers’ agreement will support EU and U.S. law enforcement efforts to counter foreign fighters when they return to Europe or the U.S. from i.e. Syria or Iraq by a number of means, including identifying facilitators of travel and recruitment as well as sources of financing. Equally the Focal Point Check-Point will enhance EU and U.S. cooperation in combating illegal immigration, especially as exploited by organized crime groups.
Areas of increased cooperation between Europol and their U.S. counterparts discussed during the course of the visit include:
• Counter-terrorism, with particular focus on terrorist financing and the threat from foreign fighters;
• Cybercrime, including an increased U.S. presence in Europol headquarters and an increase in successful joint operations;
• Europol’s continuing membership of the U.S. Intellectual Property Rights Protection Task Force which helps protect global business interests, preventing criminal and terrorist infiltration of the legitimate economy;
• Drug enforcement, money laundering, and assets seizure initiatives aimed at disrupting and dismantling terrorists and criminal networks operating on global scale;
• Protection of victims of crime in both the EU and the U.S. from various forms of criminal activity, inter alia child sexual abuse, economic crime and fraud, and counterfeiting of products especially medicines.
The already good law enforcement relationship between the U.S. and the European Union is built upon a cooperation agreement signed 10 years ago, and the U.S. liaison bureau at the Europol headquarters in The Hague in The Netherlands is representing 11 U.S. federal law enforcement agencies.
Europol also has two senior liaison officers working in Washington as an efficient and reliable point of contact to the U.S. authorities.
Every year Europol supports approximately 500 cases involving U.S. authorities and 50 of these are high impact operations.
In 2014 the FDA and Europol supported an investigation into food fraud involving 33 different countries and 1.200 tons of food were seized and 96 people arrested.
Transnational Law-Enforcement co-operation is important, and even more necessary when it comes to the fight against cybercrime.
Last November a massive International operation against darknet marketplaces hidden on the TOR network selling illicit products such as drugs, weapons and stolen personal data and bank credentials was undertaken.
The operation was initiated by U.S. ICE and FBI who took down the infamous ‘Silk Road 2’ website. In Europe, the operation was conducted by 16 European countries and coordinated from Europol’s headquarters.
Meeting Deputy Director van Gemert at the conclusion of his visit, European Union Ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, said:
“The EU and the U.S. are united in the fight against terrorism and organized criminality. Europol is an agency designed to ensure an integrated European response to these challenges. The cooperation between Europol and U.S. law enforcement agencies, coupled with appropriate data protection safeguards, are an important measure aimed at enhancing the safety and security of EU and U.S. citizens at a time when we face many common threats both at home and abroad.”
2015 © The Delegation of the European Union to the USA
The U.S European Law-Enforcement Partnership Training
Germany has the most comprehensive and the largest Law-Enforcement Partnership with the United States. Regularly joint Training, Exercises, and joint efforts in various operations are part of this ongoing build up partnerships.
Army Sgt. of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Emergency Services backs up German Polizeihauptkommissar during Partnership Law-Enforcement Training. WIESBADEN, Germany 2010 © EUCOM/U.S. Army Europe/Anemone Rueger.
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