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Successful cooperation in human trafficking case

The Hague, 04 November 2008

Last week, Eurojust played an important role in the arrest of a criminal wanted by the Romanian authorities.

A Romanian man, wanted in his country in connection with human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children and child abuse on the internet charges, accepted to be extradited from Malta.

Between 2002 and 2003, the suspect, a 31-year-old man of Romanian nationality living in Malta, allegedly conspired with other people and transported six women, two of whom were minors, to the Netherlands with the promise to provide them with employment; instead, the women were forced into prostitution.

The Romanian national was arraigned before Magistrate Joseph Apap Bologna after the police arrested him at the Malta International Airport, minutes before he boarded a plane to Ireland. He was identified and apprehended thanks to the SIRENE (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry) and Interpol Units of the Malta police, with the assistance of the Maltese and Romanian desks at Eurojust. The arrest was made on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant.

After the successful cooperation, Dr Donatella Frendo Dimech, National Member for Malta at Eurojust, commented: "This case mirrors another successful surrender accomplished in cooperation with Poland last September and manifestly re-affirms the importance of Eurojust and its role in combating organised crime. Thanks to the intervention of Ms Elena Dinu, National Member for Romania, the work and efforts of SIRENE Malta could bear the desired results, and within a matter of hours a wanted fugitive was apprehended, arraigned before the Courts and the extradition hearing completed. The close collaboration and coordination between the national desks at Eurojust and that between Sirene Malta, the police Vice-Squad and the Attorney General's Office, underline the fact that successful law enforcement can only be achieved through police and prosecuting authorities working side by side at both a national and an EU level. Crime has no geographical boundaries and Eurojust has proven that it is equipped with resources which target and overcome boundaries - be they operational, judicial, linguistic or otherwise - in its bid to fight transnational crime wherever and whenever it occurs within the Union".

Ms Elena Dinu, National Member for Romania at Eurojust, added: "This is a perfect example of how Eurojust can assist the national judicial authorities in their fight against serious crime. Thanks to the perfect channelling of communication and efficient coordination, Ms Donatella Frendo Dimech, the National Member for Malta, has ensured the successful surrender of a criminal who has now to face justice for very serious offences. Acting through its National Members, Eurojust offered once again professional expertise, dedication and efficient coordination in real time judicial operations."