Analysis Projects (APs) are within the Europol Analysis System – an information processing system - and focus on certain crime areas from commodity-based, thematic or regional angles, e.g. drugs trafficking, Islamist terrorism, Italian organised crime.
Working with these Analysis Projects, (previously called Focal Points) Europol specialists can prioritise resources, ensure purpose limitation, and support EU law enforcement authorities and other partner organisations to tackle organised crime and terrorism through:
- analysing related information and intelligence, to obtain as much structured and concrete information as possible for law enforcement authorities to “hit” targets with;
- facilitating operational meetings between partners involved in cases;
- providing expertise and training to law enforcement authorities to support cases and share knowledge;
- deploying Europol mobile offices to the field for operations, giving live access to Europol’s secure information exchange network and databases;
- providing support for judicial cooperation and for the tackling of other related criminal activities uncovered in the course of investigations, such as money laundering.
AP Apate places a particular emphasis on countering CEO fraud, and also provides support in cases involving mass mailing and mass marketing fraud, romance scams, pyramid fraud, investment fraud, 149 fraud, acquisition fraud and fake invoice fraud, among others.
The main purpose of AP Asset Recovery is to support the tracing and identification of criminal proceeds linked to Europol’s mandated crime areas. This small team builds operational partnerships as well as strategic; by hosting the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network it helps to facilitate the freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime, and is involved in Asset Recovery Office working groups on virtual currencies and Centralised Bank account Registers.
AP Cannabis supports the prevention and combating of criminal organisations’ activities in unlawful cannabis trafficking and production, as well as other related criminal activities.
Its main role is to anticipate and pre-empt terrorist abuse of online tools.
Analysis Project Cola is Europol’s team dedicated to tackling criminal organisations and networks suspected of producing, processing or trafficking cocaine, and its precursor chemicals and cutting agents.
AP Copper supports the prevention and combating of crimes involving ethnic Albanian criminal groups and associated organised crime groups, and any related criminal activities.
AP Copy supports the prevention and combating of crimes involving intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. This covers organised crime networks engaged in manufacturing and trading counterfeit products (except cigarette and tobacco products), products that infringe health and safety regulations (e.g. illicit pharmaceuticals, pesticides, substandard food and drinks), and online piracy.
Through the establishment of the AP CIC, Europol aims to support the competent authorities of the EU Member States, Third Parties and organisations in preventing and combating international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Analysis Project Cyborg supports investigations into cyber criminality affecting critical computer and network infrastructures in the EU. Its particular focus is on cybercrimes by organised groups that generate large criminal profits. This covers a broad range of high-tech crimes such as malware (code creation and distribution), ransomware, hacking, phishing, intrusion, identity theft and internet-related fraud.
Analysis Project Dark Web supports competent authorities of the Member States, as well as Third Countries and International Organisations, in preventing and combating the criminality associated with the administration of dark web platforms. It also supports the Member State response through co-ordinating cross-cutting joint actions aimed at delivering the EU Strategy for tackling crime on the dark web. It provides specialist operational, analytical and technical capabilities, and enhances the overall response through continuous collation and analysis of dark web related information, building new tools and capabilities, supporting training initiatives, and developing prevention and awareness campaigns.
Analysis Project Dolphin gathers intelligence and information available in EU Member States linked to terrorist groups identified by the Council of the European Union, and other violent extremist groups active in the EU.
Since 2001, AP EEOC has supported operational activities against Eastern European organised crime groups and their networks. In recent years, intelligence has shown how Eurasian organised crime groups have been moving onto European territory. AP EEOC have been able to successfully work with EU law enforcement authorities to arrest a large number of high-level professional criminals from the former Soviet Union who were enjoying elite positions within the criminal underworld.
AP EnviCrime supports EU law enforcement agencies in their criminal investigations regarding all environmental crime phenomena. Its particular focus is on waste trafficking including the improper collection, transport, recovery or disposal of waste and on wildlife crime including the killing, destruction, possession or trade of specimens of protected wild fauna or flora species, and the production, importation, exportation and placing on the market.
Organised property crime is one of the EMPACT priorities and Europol's operational activities in this field are carried out within Analysis Project Furtum. Its broad mandate covers all aspects of property crime such as major burglaries, armed robberies (banks, jewellery, money transporters and depots), motor vehicle crimes, cargo crime, metal theft, organised pick pocketing.
AP Heroin supports the prevention and combating of heroin trafficking and production. Heroin-related investigations primarily target the criminal activities of Turkish and Pakistani organised crime groups, diverse heroin trafficking routes from the source country Afghanistan (via the Caucasus, Black Sea, Balkan route and Africa), as well as the flows of drug precursors.
The purpose of Analysis Project Hydra is to support the prevention and combating of terrorism-related crimes against life, limb, personal freedom or property, and related criminal offences, perpetrated by individuals, groups, networks or organisations who evoke Islam to justify their actions.
AP ITOC supports cases investigating the criminal activities of Mafia-structured organised crime groups (OCG) that originate in Italy and impact other EU countries.
AP Migrant Smuggling supports the targeting and dismantling of organised criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling, focusing on geographical criminal hubs and hotspots.
Facilitating irregular migration into and within the EU is a highly attractive business for criminal networks and is the fastest growing criminal market in Europe, with most significant growth since 2015.
Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) and their criminal activities are the specialist subject of AP Monitor. Although the Hells Angels, Bandidos and Outlaws are the most well-known and high-profile, all gangs suspected of committing criminal offences within Europol's mandate fall under the FP’s activities.
Analysis Project MTIC (Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud) helps with identifying and dismantling organised criminal networks involved in cross-border VAT fraud, and the tracing and confiscating of the proceeds of MTIC fraud. MTIC is committed through a chain of linked companies when the fraudsters sell goods or services from one EU country to another, taking advantage of the fact that it is legitimate not to charge VAT on such cross-border transactions. When these transactions are conducted domestically on a Member State’s territory, VAT becomes chargeable. In these schemes, instead of declaring this tax to the fiscal authorities, those behind the company disappear with the tax collected from its customer.
AP Phoenix is a dynamically developing operational project that deals with a rising number of new cases of trafficking in human beings. The Analysis Project deals with different forms of exploitation, with current priority areas linked to sexual and labour exploitation, forced criminality and begging, forced marriages, child trafficking and human organ trafficking. Human trafficking is a serious crime that abuses an individual’s fundamental rights and dignity. Vulnerable people are exploited and traded as commodities by criminals for economic gain.
The unlawful manufacturing and smuggling of excise goods, such as tobacco and cigarettes, is the specialist area dealt with by Analysis Project Smoke.
AP Soya supports the fight against currency counterfeiting. Counterfeiting of the euro is the main priority of the Analysis Project, but it also supports law enforcement agencies in targeting forgeries of other currencies such as the US dollar and pound sterling. This includes supporting the dismantling of distribution networks and identifying illegal currency print shops.
AP Sports Corruption supports current investigations into sports corruption, including fraud and swindling, and associated criminal activities.
AP Sustrans is involved in cases related to organised crime networks involved in money laundering.
AP Synergy is involved in cases related to synthetic drugs production and trafficking, and materials, equipment and precursors used in the process. Typical operations involve drugs such as Ecstasy/MDMA and amphetamine.
Each year, AP Terminal provides support for hundreds of investigations into international electronic and online payment fraud, which is a fast-growing market for the criminal networks involved.
The Analysis Project helps ensure an effective response to new threats and the criminal networks by working with law enforcement, the private sector and regulators such as the European Central Bank and national banks, to help ensure customers' security and trust in electronic and online payments.
The ECTC uses a number of tools to help detect the financing of terrorism, including the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP). The TFTP helps to prevent and counter terrorism financing since 2010, based on the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the Processing and Transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the EU to the US. The TFTP has proven to be a valuable tool in terrorism related investigations: it enhances the ability to map out terrorist networks, often filling in missing links in an investigative chain; tracks terrorist money flows, allowing authorities to identify and locate operatives and their financiers; and assists in the broader efforts to uncover terrorist cells.
Europol’s Analysis Project Sustrans was opened in 2001 and is currently one of the oldest and widest Analysis Projects at Europol. It provides support to EU Member States’ cross-border investigations into the money laundering activities of transnational criminal organisations. This has been done through the establishment of a pan-European platform to integrate, process and analyse all types of dedicated financial data (ongoing investigations, suspicious transaction reports, cash seizures, international transfers, etc). All 28 EU Member States and 52 Europol third partners are part of this project.
Analysis Project Travellers coordinates investigations into, and data analysis on, foreign terrorist fighters, and supports law enforcement efforts to counter foreign fighters when they return to Europe or the US from i.e. Syria or Iraq.In response to the concerted efforts of EU Member States, with Europol’s help, the amount of data on foreign terrorist fighters within AP Travellers has increased substantially since early 2015.
Analysis Project Twins supports the prevention and combating of all forms of criminality associated with the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
This covers the creation and distribution of child abuse material through all kinds of online environments, and other online criminal behaviour involving children such as grooming, self-generated indecent material, sexual extortion and live distant child abuse.
AP Weapons and Explosives deals with criminal organisations and individuals involved in the illegal manufacturing, possession and trafficking of small arms, light weapons, ammunition, parts and components, as well as explosives (military, commercial, pyrotechnics and improvised/homemade), explosives precursors, improvised explosive devices (parts and components), military ordnance (parts and components), chemical biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials and other dangerous substances that could be used as weapons.