Organised crime: prosecutors from western regions tackle phenomenon that ‘knows no borders’

April 30, 2020

More than 140 prosecutors from the four western regions of Ukraine (Lviv, Zakarpattya, Rivne and Chernivtsi) yesterday took part in a webinar organised by EUAM’s Mobile Unit I and Lviv Field Office. The subject matter under consideration was organised crime – Western Ukraine is among the most afflicted parts of the country when it comes to the phenomenon.

All of the prosecutors at the webinar work in bordering regions of Ukraine that deal with organised crime on a daily basis, particularly in relation to fighting corruption, black markets, and smuggling of tobacco, raw materials, amber, etc.    

The trade in illegal drugs is one of the main sources of income for organised crime. In the EU alone it earns criminals up to €300 billion. Trafficking of human beings, smuggling, property crimes and fraud are also profitable sources of illegal activity. Gediminas Buciunas, EUAM’s Senior Adviser on Prosecution, presented to participants the distinguishing features of transnational and international crime, how the crime rate is connected to the country’s poverty rate, why there is no ideology when it comes to organised crime characteristics, the main areas of investment for illegally obtained wealth, the legal tools for investigation, etc.

“Organised crime has no borders and it requires effective international cooperation between law-enforcement agencies,” said Mr Buciunas. The webinar concluded with a Q+A session, where the Ukrainian prosecutors were able to ask more about EU practices on criminal intelligence, the status of a special prosecutor in Lithuania, and the terms of anonymity for members of organised crime groups.

The webinar format is one of the digital solutions EUAM is using to allow the mission continue its support for Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic.