NSOC partnership in tackling organised crime continued

The National Collaboration against Subversive Crime (Nationale Samenwerking tegen Ondermijnende Criminaliteit - NSOC) will be extended for at least two years. Cooperation between the police, the Public Prosecution Service (OM), Customs, the Tax Authority, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (Fiod), the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) and other divisions of the Ministry of Defence has demonstrated over the past 18 months that the organisations are better equipped to expose criminal structures in collaboration than when working independently.

Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security has so written in a letter to the House of Representatives today in response to the evaluation of the partnership over the past 18 months. NSOC was established by minister Yeşilgöz following the dissolution of the Multidisciplinary Intervention Team (MIT) in 2022. According to the minister, the MIT focused heavily on internal organisational structures, such as controlling interventions, distribution of capacity and financial resources. NSOC was given the core task of gathering information and developing targeted interventions to further tackle criminal structures and their earning models in the underworld and society.

The evaluation of NSOC has concluded that by pooling information, diverse perceptions of the cooperating partners converge and (new) criminal phenomena are identified that individual organisations would otherwise not be able to pursue independently. Over the past 18 months, for example, cooperation has led to new insights into illegal trafficking and transport of firearms, smarter interventions have been developed to more effectively monitor cargo at logistics hubs, and some €3 million worth of gold has been seized by NSOC thanks to a developed intervention strategy.

Data sharing

By the same token, a key area of concern that emerged from the evaluation was effective and efficient data sharing across partners. In practice, information sharing proves complex based on current laws and regulations. For effective data sharing, clear regulations and clear safeguards for security and privacy are imperative. A covenant is currently being drafted in which the partners enter into agreements on what data are shared, for what purpose this information is processed and on what legal basis it is provided. In those cases where this does not prove adequate or not possible, a further legal basis will be considered for optimal cooperation, potentially through the Data Processing Collaboration Bill currently being debated by parliament.

In the coming years, progress within NSOC will be monitored to determine the requirements for further optimising the cooperation. The House of Representatives will be periodically informed about this in the semi-annual letters on combating organised subversive crime.