354 arrests in cross-border bust of Russian-speaking crime gangs

21 November 2019
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Organised property crime

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From 1 January 2017 to 30 September 2019, the German State Criminal Police Office (Landeskriminalamt, LKA) of Berlin in cooperation with LKA Brandenburg managed project LIMES, an EU-funded project from the Internal Security Fund. The international operation targeted international motor vehicle thefts and Russian-speaking organised crime groups.

The LKA offices of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Europol all contributed to the project. Thanks to this cooperation, it was possible to build and strengthen a network of experts, and exchange experience and information. They focused on supporting the international investigations both financially and technically and identifying criminal groups, structures and new phenomena. 

Europol supported the planning and drafting of the project plan (Analysis Projects FURTUM and EEOC), networking with potential partners and taking the advisory role on specific matters. Europol also carried out tailored analysis, hosted several operational meetings, took part in several action days and deployed a mobile office on-the-spot.

The results:

  • 94 cross-border investigations; 
  • 354 arrests;
  • 47 convictions with sentences up to 8 years imprisonment;
  • 94 people from organised crime groups in custody;
  • €59 759 800 euros in damage, €4 227 839 euros in seized assets;
  • 685 vehicles and lorries worth a total of €15 million secured; 
  • 10 weapons and tens of kilos of narcotics confiscated.