Minister Flanagan opens Annual Cross Border Conference on Organised Crime

 

7 November 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., today opened the sixteenth Annual Cross Border Conference on Organised Crime at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down.  The conference which is titled ‘Shared Problems, Shared Solutions’ and is taking place over two days, will also hear from the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, and the PSNI Deputy Chief Constable, Stephen Martin.

 

The purpose of the Conference is to enhance co-operation between law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border, particularly in relation to cross border organised criminality and related issues.  It also provides an opportunity to assess and address changing trends in crime and to build upon and enhance the operational actions already being undertaken in this area.

 

In his opening remarks, Minister Flanagan said: “I welcome the ongoing co-operation between the two jurisdictions and the impact that such co-operation makes in tackling cross border organised crime.”

 

As the focus of the conference is operational in nature, there is significant attendance by representatives from An Garda Síochána, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Revenue Commissioners, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the National Crime Agency (NCA).  Senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Justice, Northern Ireland also attended.

 

The conference will focus on a number of issues relating to cross border criminality including confiscation of Criminal Proceeds; Human Trafficking / Modern Slavery; Carousel VAT Fraud; and Foreign Based Organised Criminal Groups (OCGs).  The conference will also discuss recent joint investigations and operations relating to, inter alia, the illicit cigarette market and fuel laundering.

 

Minister Flanagan also said: “As Minister for Justice and Equality, I am very committed to ensuring very close north-south co-operation on criminal justice matters.  I am keenly aware of the threat posed by criminals who seek to exploit the border.  This conference provides a timely and important forum for key stakeholders on both sides of the border to work together, exchange information and ultimately ensure  that we effectively protect the safety of the people on this island.”

 

ENDS

 

 

Note to Editors:

 

This is the sixteenth annual Cross Border Conference on Organised Crime.  The first conference was held in 2003.  This year’s conference was organised by the Department of Justice, Northern Ireland with all other relevant agencies involved in the planning process. 

 

The conference brings together senior officers from An Garda Síochána, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency, the Revenue Commissioners, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and Government Departments from both jurisdictions. 

 

The conference is co-funded by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Justice, Northern Ireland.

 

The Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland take turns in organising the conference.  The 2017 Conference was held at the Crowne Plaza, Dundalk on 27-28 September.