Schengen Cooperation and Combating Cross-Border and Organised Crime, including Trafficking and Itinerant Criminal Groups
Increase citizen's security through improvement of the efficiency of cooperation between law enforcement authorities in the Schengen Member States in fighting organised crime, including trafficking in human beings
Ministry of the Interior
25 October 2012
Calls for proposals
There are no further calls for proposals.
Why is the programme needed?
Lithuanian law enforcement agencies – the police and the customs service - are confronted with considerable challenges. According to Europol, the EU’s police agency, Lithuanian groups are considered as one of the two best resourced criminal groups in Europe. Some of these groups operate mainly abroad in countries like Norway. Many of them are involved in large-scale smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol from neighbouring states like Russia, in particular from Kaliningrad, and Belarus. This illegal activity leads to important financial losses for the Lithuanian state at a time of budget cuts and austerity measures. The Norwegian police want to strengthen cooperation with their Lithuanian colleagues to reduce the threat posed by Lithuanian criminal groups, and to contribute to improving European police cooperation.
What will the programme achieve?
The programme will strengthen the capacity of the Lithuanian police and customs service to prevent, detect and investigate crime in Lithuania. It also aims to make Lithuanian authorities more able to assist other countries in solving crimes committed abroad but with links to Lithuania. Customs services shall facilitate trade, but at the same time they must control goods entering the country and ensure that taxes are paid. Since Lithuania has become a member of the EU and Schengen, both the police and customs service have been obliged to replace the traditional border control with more intelligence-based surveillance. Both services are now faced with formidable challenges, absorbing and using all the available information.
How will it be achieved?
• Lithuanian Customs will establish a national database with information on all transactions and movements which will be updated and used for rapid information sharing and identification of changing risk areas;
• Lithuanian Customs will introduce a task planning system with geospatial technology to improve how they plan and carry out inspections;
• Purchase of sophisticated information and communication technology equipment for the police will improve its cybercrime investigation capacity;
• Purchase of equipment to improve surveillance of suspected persons and vehicles and increase the analytic capacities of forensic laboratories investigating crime scenes (DNA, weapons, drugs etc.).
How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
The Lithuanian and Norwegian police will meet and discuss how they can strengthen the bilateral cooperation. There will also be meetings with between officers of the Lithuanian Customs and their Norwegian counterparts.