On 25-26 May 2016 TAIEX Regional Workshop on Tackling Drug-Related Cybercrime was held in Sarajevo in cooperation with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from the host country Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and representative of Kosovo participated. The Republic of Serbia was represented by the Acting Director of the Office for Combating Drugs Milan Pekić.

The overall goal of the Workshop was raising awareness of the legislative authorities and offices for combating drugs in the Western Balkans and Turkey on criminal ties between new communication technologies and illegal drugs, as well as promoting their capacities in resolving drug-related cybercrime.

Internet (web deep and web dark net) appeared in the past few years as an “online” drug market in the EU and the region. The Western Balkans and Turkey should harmonized policies with the policy of the EU Action Plan on Drugs by identifying strategic responses for treating the role of new communication technologies and hosting related websites in manufacturing, marketing, purchasing and distribution of drugs, including also new psychoactive substances. 

Indicators for measuring efficient results are, on one hand, results reached by law enforcement activities towards drug-related crime via internet and, on the other hand, increased number of joined and cross-border cooperation initiatives. 

Capacity increase is necessary in order to carry out efficient investigations, particularly related to organized criminal groups, money laundering and corruption. Additionally, criminal legislation should be amended and harmonized with the EU legislation. At this moment, drug-related cybercrime is increasing in the region, while legislation, policies and capacities for combating this phenomenon lag behind. 

In Albania, document o cyber security policy is waiting for approval by Government. In Bosnia and Herzegovina criminal offences of the Additional Protocol to International Cybercrime Convention are yet to be included into criminal acts. Turkey and Serbia will also have to amend their respective cybercrime legislations. Strategies for combating cybercrime should be adopted in B&H, FYR of Macedonia and Serbia, while Montenegro should speed up the efforts in investigating broader criminal network and confiscating proceeds of crime in the area of drug trafficking. 

Experts from the six EU Member States (Austria, Croatia, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands) shared their respective experience and the best practices in order to encourage the progress in resolving drug-related cybercrime in the region.

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