The Justice Department will launch a center that will bring together more than a dozen government groups to fight international crime, Attorney General Eric Holder said today in Rome at the G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial.
The International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center will enable these agencies to meet together and more effectively coordinate international criminal prosecutions, according to a DOJ statement.
“The globalization of criminal networks and advances in technology have made international criminal organizations a significant threat to the safety and security of our nation,” Holder said in the statement. “But we are answering that threat by developing a 21st century organized crime program that will be nimble and sophisticated enough to combat the danger posed by these criminals for years to come. [The center] gives us the capacity to collect, synthesize and disseminate information and intelligence from multiple sources to enable federal law enforcement to prioritize and target the individuals and organizations that pose the greatest international organized crime threat to the United States.”
The center will bring together: the FBI; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General; the Justice Department, Criminal Division; the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Treasury Department, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
At the G8 meeting, Holder also highlighted the necessity for collaboration between U.S. and foreign law enforcement, according to the Justice Department.
“He noted that the creation of (the center) demonstrates the United States’ commitment to addressing international organized crime issues and will make the United States a more effective partner for joint investigations and prosecutions,” the DOJ statement said in the statement.
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Attorney General Eric Holder will jet off to Rome Thursday for the G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministers’ Meeting, according to the Justice Department.
His three day trip to Italy won’t exactly be a Roman holiday though with a series of meetings scheduled with his G8 counterparts in addition to European Commissioner Jacques Barrot, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa and United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute Director Sandro Calvani, as well as the Czech Republic justice minister, whose country currently holds the European Union presidency, according to the G8 Summit 2009 Web site.
The first meeting on Friday will focus on “the struggle against transnational organized crime through a common international strategy designed to combat mafioso assets and to counter today’s ‘multinational crime corporations,’” the Web site said.
Also on Friday, Holder and others will discuss “the issue of migration, dwelling in particular on illegal immigration, on human trafficking and on immigrants’ integration with society,” according to the Web site.
The third meeting on Saturday will start by examining “urban security” and later explore international terrorism, the Web site said. After this meeting, the officials gathered will develop plans for international cooperation on the topics discussed and hold a press conference, according to the Web site.