The Government of Romania, through the Ministry of Justice – the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI), received over $170,000 seized by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a result of investigations carried out jointly by Romanian and U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Romanian police from the Directorate for Countering Organized Crime, the Directorate for Special Operations and prosecutors from the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism worked closely with agents from the DEA to investigate and apprehend members of criminal groups, based in Romania, responsible for exporting illegal drugs to the United States. These same groups then used the proceeds to provide support for the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Members of the groups were arrested by Romanian authorities and extradited to and convicted in the United States. After the convictions, nearly $220,000 was recovered from the illegal operation and 80% of the confiscated funds were transferred to the Romanian Ministry of Justice – ANABI.
This is just one more example of how the coordinated work and close cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Romania and the United States can deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains and make the world safer for all.
Note: According to the Romanian law, the amount sent to ANABI will be transfered to the state budget.
În scopul prevenirii răspândirii infecțiilor respiratorii cauzate de COVID 19 și de gripa sezonieră și pentru buna desfășurare a activității Ministerului Justiției vă informăm că, începând cu data de 11 martie 2020, accesul în sediul Ministerului Justiției a persoanelor care nu sunt angajate ale ministerului a fost restricționat până la o dată ce va fi comunicată pe site-ul www.just.ro, cu posibilitatea de a se lua noi decizii, în funcție de evoluția situației.
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On 30th of January 2020, a working meeting was held between experts of the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI) and representatives of the US Department of Justice, Mr. Scott KERIN, International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Attorney Advisor and Mrs. Jessica H. KIM, Eastern Europe Resident Legal Advisor.
The discussions were focused on bilateral cooperation in the field of criminal asset recovery. Both the United States of America and Romania are part of the CARIN[*] Steering Group, while Romania held the Presidency in Office for 2019. Joint activities were agreed upon, including the transfer of expertise and good practices. The main topics to be further explored are related to the efficiency of the seizure measures with emphasis on pre-seizure planning, the evaluation and management of atypical assets (such as: stocks of merchandise, shares, securities (titluri de valoare) etc.), the identification and seizure of virtual currencies, as well as the mechanisms of international cooperation, especially in the case of transfers of assets located in offshore jurisdictions.
The expert meetings were agreed, at the end of 2019, during the meeting held between Mr. Cătălin PREDOIU, the Minister of Justice, and His Excellency, Mr. Adrian ZUCKERMAN, the Ambassador of the United States of America in Bucharest.
During the process of establishing ANABI, the Ministry of Justice benefited from the technical support and assistance provided by the United States of America, through the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals Service.
[*] Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network
In the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the European Commission organised the Conference ”e-Justice – Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era”, between May 20th-21st, 2019, in Bucharest.
The conference addressed IT specialists, practitioners and decision-makers within the judicial systems and proposed to provide a forum to discuss the importance of using new technologies in the field of justice (eg artificial intelligence, Blockchain, process automation, etc.), while aiming at encouraging participants to reflect both on the opportunities and the challenges posed by the rapid pace of technological progress as well as on the philosophical and ethical aspects generated by the implementation of such instruments in the field of justice.
At the opening of the session, Mr. Ion Popa, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice emphasized that ”the continuous development and improvement of the informatic tools which are at the disposal of the judges and the justice are a sine-qua-non condition of the evolution of a judicial system. Furthermore, in our situation of the Member States, we consider that we must pay particular attention to facilitating European cross-border cooperation with the technology”.
The continuation of the commitments of the last decade, redeemed - concretely - by the projects foreseen in the Strategy and the Action Plan, proves, on one hand, that the e-Justice of Europe works both for the benefit of the citizens and for the benefit of the actors/professionals involved in the judicial procedures, improving access to justice and enhancing mutual trust between the Member States of the European Union, on the other.
The focus of the conference was to encourage participants to reflect on the opportunities and challenges posed by the rapid pace of technological progress as well as on the philosophical and ethical aspects of the implementation of such instruments in the field of justice.
Romania encourages the use of modern technologies - such as automatic machine learning, artificial intelligence - to support the work of judicial systems and is equally concerned with providing the necessary legal framework for their use.