US and Romania to create a Transnational Criminal Investigations Unit in Bucharest
Romanian and American authorities are set to negotiate the establishment of a Transnational Criminal Investigations Unit (TCIU) in Bucharest meant to gather evidence, exchange information, and facilitate the prosecution of transnational organized crime groups both in Romania and within the US criminal justice system.
To this end, a memorandum of cooperation will be negotiated and signed between the government of Romania, represented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the government of the United States of America, represented by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Internal Security Investigation Agency regarding the Transborder Criminal Investigations Unit.
According to the initiator of the memorandum, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the proposal to establish a Transnational Criminal Investigations Unit (TCIU) in Bucharest was put forward in 2022.
TCIUs are established with the agreement/approval of the US ambassador and the partnering nation.
"Its purpose is to gather evidence, exchange information, and facilitate the prosecution of transnational organized crime groups, both in Romania and within the American criminal justice system. The TCIU is intended to facilitate the exchange of information and conduct bilateral investigations for crimes related to Romania, the United States, and, from a regional perspective, other states accredited to the US Department of Homeland Security Attaché Office in Bucharest. The objective of the TCIU is to dismantle criminal organizations through the joint efforts of operational teams working towards the arrest and prosecution of criminals," according to a government document cited by Profit.ro.
The TCIU in Bucharest will reportedly focus on combating drug trafficking, human trafficking, financial fraud, and economic fraud. It will also work to intensify the exchange of data regarding the illegal migration of Romanian citizens at the southern border with Mexico and the northern border with Canada.
The Unit will hasten the exchange of information and the prosecution of transnational organized crime groups, both in Romania and the US. Experts from the Romanian Police, the Border Police, and American law enforcement authorities will be brought together in the same location to arrest and prosecute criminals.
"Considering the long-term and continuously developing strategic partnership between Romania and the United States, as well as Romania's geographical and geostrategic position, establishing such a center in Bucharest represents an advantage. It will be a HUB within which the entire Southeast European region can be monitored in order to reduce criminal phenomena occurring in this area," the Romanian side argues in the official document.
The memorandum is expected to enter into force upon receipt of the last written notification, transmitted through diplomatic channels. The Romanian negotiating delegation is expected to be led by a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and includes experts from other relevant institutions involved in the implementation of the agreement.
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