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Grand Hotel Bernardin in Portoro┼ż is hosting a two-day final conference of the WBOC project - joint investigations with Western Balkan countries in the fight against organised crime and effects on the EU. The conference is attended by 120 police representatives from the EU member states, Western Balkan countries, as well as representatives of Interpol and Europol.

The Slovenian and Hungarian police were partners in Austria's project aimed at a joint fight, together with partners from Western Balkan countries, against criminal groups originating in this area and active in the EU. The project, which is co-funded by the EU, started in October 2013 with an introductory conference in Austria, and was followed by over 40 operational working meetings and 14 international criminal investigations. Operational support to the fight against organised criminal groups from the Western Balkans and links between operational officers working on concrete investigations were of crucial importance for successful completion of criminal investigations.

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Director of Criminal Police Directorate Branko Japelj said  that it was in the goals of the project that the Slovenian police recognised its operational value and decided to support it and join the partnership.

Soon after the start of the project the need arose to hold operational meetings with police representatives from the Western Balkan countries participating in the investigations of criminal associations using the Balkan route to smuggle illicit drugs, weapons and to transport illegally obtained money. The project funds enabled the organisation of operational meetings whenever coordination between police representatives from the Western Balkan countries and EU member states was required.

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The goals of the operational project have been fully realised and solid foundations for further international police cooperation in the field of organised crime have been laid. The successful completion of joint investigations  is confirmed by large amounts of seized illicit drugs and proceeds of crime as well as arrests of important members of international criminal groups originating from the Western Balkans and active in the EU.

The Slovenian police took part in five joint investigations, during which 5 kilos of heroin and 16.4 kilos of cannabis were seized in Slovenia. In total, 30 firearms, 1100 kilos of heroin, 165 kilos of cocaine, 1000 kilos of cannabis, 80,000 cigarettes and 16.2 tonnes of acetic anhydride, which is a heroin precursor, were seized in investigations under this project. The proceeds are estimated to amount to several million euros.