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Question

281. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which Interpol or Europol continue to be utilised in the context of combatting serious organised crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6030/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that tackling organised crime activity is a key ongoing priority for both the Government and An Garda Síochána.
An Garda Síochána's Policing Plan sets out the priorities of An Garda Síochána in tackling organised crime activity including its continued commitment to proactively target groups and individuals engaged in criminal activity, including organised criminal activities.
In tackling such activity, An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement operations and strategies aimed at targeting, dismantling and disrupting criminal networks, utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methodologies. Multidisciplinary approaches are also utilised to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal enterprise are effectively targeted, including through the use of the proceeds of crimes legislation, money-laundering legislation, the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 relating to organised crime and the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau.
An Garda Síochána targets organised criminal groupings with all available resources. This includes operating at local and community level as well as national and international level in partnership with other policing agencies.
At international level An Garda Síochána utilises the available international mechanisms for police co-operation and training including CEPOL, Interpol, and Europol. Garda Liaison Officers are based, on a full-time basis, in other EU Member States, including the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. Garda Liaison Officers are also based at Europol.
An Garda Síochána also continues to participate in joint and multidisciplinary and multi-jurisdictional investigations within the European Union and worldwide. Successful investigations, prosecutions and disruptions of criminal activities have been and continue to be achieved through these parallel investigations.