OSCE Mission and Serbian Interior Ministry hold regional conference on combating organized crime and illegal trade in drugs


BELGRADE, 23 June 2005 – Developing better co-operation between police services in the Balkans to fight transnational organized crime and illegal trade in drugs was the aim of a conference that ended in Belgrade today.

Illegal trading in ‘precursors’ – chemical substances used in the production of synthetic drugs – was also high on the agenda.

The two-day event, entitled Mechanisms for the Suppression and Prevention of International Illicit Trading in Precursors and Synthetic Drugs, was organized by the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro and Serbia’s Interior Ministry.

Experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina (including Republika Srpska and the Federation), Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia and Turkey, as well as representatives of the UN Mission to Kosovo and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime took part.

They agreed to compile a comprehensive description of trends in precursors migration, improve the exchange of information and engage in joint actions to fight precursors smuggling, as well as to implement other forms of operational co-operation in the region.

“Co-operation between regional law enforcement agencies is crucial in combating drug trafficking and other forms of transnational crime,” said Douglas Wake, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro. “Criminals are getting increasingly sophisticated and law enforcement agencies must work closer to adjust to the changing crime environment.”

He urged Serbian authorities to adopt the Law on Precursors as soon as possible.

“Drug trafficking is a big security risk and a threat to the countries of Southeast Europe and to the whole region,” said Dragan Jocic, Serbian Interior Minister. “We must exert a serious effort and use all of our resources to combat this evil.”

The OSCE supports the development of regional and national capacities to fight against organized crime, including the prevention and the illegal trading in drugs.