Senate approves UAE treaties against organised crime

The Senate approved two bilateral treaties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today to address cross-border organised crime. The agreements include a treaty on providing mutual legal assistance and a treaty on extradition. They will enter into force after publication in the Official Gazette. The bilateral treaties form a component of Justice and Security Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius' broader agenda for increased international cooperation in tackling organised subversive crime.

"It is only by increasing collaboration with other countries that we can better tackle internationally operating criminals who engage in activities such as money laundering, drugs, arms and human trafficking," she said. At a time when criminals are threatening our society and open economy with violence and intimidation, we must do everything possible to prevent them from feeling safe with their criminal assets abroad. In recent years, the UAE has already proved to be an important partner for our investigative agencies in criminal investigations. These treaties further strengthen the collaboration we have established,'' said Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius.

With the conclusion of bilateral treaties on legal assistance and extradition, the possibilities for extradition and legal assistance, including seizure, are further expanded, simplified and structured. This will soon enable the investigative services of both countries to respond more quickly to each other's requests in the fight against organised crime in general, and the fight against financial-economic crime in particular. The treaties include agreements on interrogating suspects, witnesses, victims or experts, examining bank accounts and seizing goods and profits from illegal practices. Furthermore, the opportunities for collaboration in extradition cases are broadened.

With bilateral treaties, every request for legal assistance and extradition is always assessed individually according to legal and treaty frameworks. For example, legal assistance and extradition requests will not be cooperated with if there are good grounds to believe that the suspect is being persecuted in connection with his religion, political opinion, nationality, race or population group. The Netherlands also seeks assurances on the non-imposition or execution of the death penalty and corporal punishment if this occurs in the other country. Without such guarantees, providing legal assistance or extradition will not be possible.

Treaties with the UAE are an important pillar in the Justice and Security Minister's international agenda. Currently, bilateral agreements with other countries, such as Morocco and Colombia, are also being developed in the fight against organised crime. In addition, coalitions are being formed and cooperation strengthened within Europe, with Turkey, the UAE, Latin America and the Caribbean region in tackling drug crime and criminal assets.