EMPACT 2018 Results and 2019 Operational Action Plan on Financial Crime

In December 2018, the European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT) published its results for the year 2018, stating that 1026 investigations had been initiated with over €1.4 million seized in cash during the EMPACT Joint Action days. Furthermore, 1137 suspects were arrested and 337 victims of human trafficking identified. EMPACT’s priority areas of crime in 2018 included cybercrime, drug trafficking, the facilitation of illegal immigration, organised property crime, trafficking in human beings, excise and MTIC fraud, illicit firearms trafficking, environmental crime, criminal finances, and money laundering as well as document fraud.

Furthermore, in January 2019, the 2019 Operational Action Plan for the EMPACT priority “Criminal Finances, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery” was kicked off with a meeting at Europol. The action plan outlines 19 actions targeting criminal finances, money laundering, and asset recovery. The actions will be carried out throughout Europe. The action plan intends to coordinate law enforcement work in this criminal area. The meeting was attended by financial crime investigators from 25 EU Member States as well as specialists from Europol, CEPOL, and the European Commission.

EMPACT is an acronym for the European Multidisciplinary Cooperation Platform Against Criminal Threats. It offers an ad hoc management environment to develop activities in order to achieve pre-set goals. EMPACT enlists the support of several EU Member States, EU institutions, and agencies as well as third countries, international organisations, and other public and private partners aiming to address the main threats of organised and serious international crime. The multiannual EU’s Policy Cycle prioritises the threats. In March 2017, the policy cycle was renewed for the 2018-2021 period.