On February 6, 2003 the British Embassy to Bulgaria and the Center for the Study of Democracy co-organized a lecture delivered by John Abbott, Director General of the UK National Criminal Intelligence Service(NCIS). The event was hosted by the UK Ambassador to Bulgaria Ian Soutar. More than 60 law enforcement experts, representatives of the judiciary, the diplomatic corps, the NGO community and the media were present at the lecture.
In his speech Mr. Abbott pointed some
characteristics and negative effects of the international organized
- it is a big business, that is not confined to a
single country but is global;
- it uses simple rules and learns from its
- it is flexible looking for high profits at law
- it is fluent in using new technologies;
- it corrupts law enforcement, judiciary and even
- although global, its effects are predominantly
On the other hand, fighting organized crime
internationally is extremely difficult because law enforcement is
not global in structure and it works within a local jurisdiction.
Law enforcements agencies around the world lack common standards
and approaches towards the international organized crime and they
are vulnerable to corruption. A duplication of activities of
different responsible institutions is also a common problem because
they often do not exchange information.
In John Abbott's opinion the co-operation between different
countries now tends to focus on individual operations while the
criminal groups are collaborating and if the international
community failed to respond adequately to the threats the world
will not become a safer place.
In the last years many countries joined efforts and
tightened cooperation to seek and prosecute international criminals
- a good example is the UN International Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime, Mr. Abbott added. He also pointed
out that the present cooperation between the UK and Bulgaria in
combating international organized crime was better than ever
During the questions and answers discussion Mr.
Abbott pointed out that a common European arrest warrant would make
the arrest procedures faster. He also explained that NCIS was
responsible for providing strategic assessments which were
published on its website thus helping people to build a true
picture of the situation. Mr. Abbott stressed on the fact that the
geographical location of the Balkan peninsula was very attractive
to many criminal groups but that these groups were not more active
on the Balkans than in any other corner of the world.