International approach to combat organised crime

An international approach is needed to make organised crime in Western Europe less attractive. Criminals pay no attention to national borders. By operating internationally, criminals can evade investigation, prosecution and trial. Frequently, they make more profit from international activities. That is why countries and international organisations are working together to dismantle cross-border criminal networks.

Strengthening international cooperation

The government aims to strengthen and broaden its cooperation with other countries and international organisations by, for example, making agreements about stricter controls at logistics hubs such as seaports and airports. Another measure is to disrupt the criminal business model and take quicker action to seize criminal proceeds and goods and property purchased with criminal funds. The international approach to combating crime that undermines society focuses on:

  • stricter controls and enhanced oversight of logistics hubs (such as ports) and processes (such as transport);
  • disrupting the criminal business model and seizing the proceeds of criminal activity;
  • collaborating with source and transit countries to reinforce efforts to combat drug trafficking;
  • technological developments that can be employed to, for example, investigate organised crime that has negative effects on society.

Disrupting cross-border criminal activity

The international approach is aimed at disrupting cross-border criminal activity. Various disciplines play a major role in this approach. Cooperation with other countries and organisations, such as the EU, is essential.

The ministers responsible for security and justice in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain held a meeting on the fight against serious and organised crime and their subversive impact on society and issued a joint statement in December 2021. In the statement, these countries pledged to work together to disrupt the international trade of illicit drugs, such as trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe. This international cooperation will make it possible to exchange information about the most effective investigation methods.

Parties working together to combat crime that undermines society

Various parties, including the following, are working closely with colleagues in other countries:

  • the Dutch Public Prosecution Service;
  • the police;
  • the Customs Administration;
  • the Special Investigative Services; and
  • the ministries.

In addition, cooperation is ongoing with international organisations and partnerships, such as:

  • the European Union;
  • Europol;
  • Eurojust;
  • the United Nations; and
  • the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre on Narcotics (MAOC-N).

These organisations and partnerships:

  • share information and knowledge via various channels;
  • contribute to joint investigations;
  • conduct joint enforcement operations;
  • provide mutual legal assistance; and
  • work together on new legislation and rules to make efforts to combat cross-border crime more effective.