Illicit trafficking in cultural goods represents an increasingly worrying phenomenon. On the one hand, data from EU LEAs show a steady tendency of EU Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) to utilise trafficking in cultural object as a relatively low-risk, high-return market (inter alia for money laundering). On the other hand, the instability in several Mediterranean regions increases the threat originating from the cooperation among EU and foreign OCGs, with illicit trafficking in cultural property becoming an opportunity of income for local organizations as well as a potential bargaining chip for illicit transactions.
On April 15, the OPFA CULT project – Operational Facility supporting the fight against the illicit trafficking in cultural property – has officially started under the leadership of Arma dei Carabinieri and the support of project partners Romanian gendarmerie, Fondazione SAFE and B&S Europe.
The project aims at fostering international police cooperation in the field of illicit trafficking in cultural property, providing practitioners from EU LEAs with financial operational support to ongoing investigations and facilitating networking to set harmonized investigation methodologies.
Building on the successful intelligence-led investigations carried out by Arma dei Carabinieri (Protection of Cultural Heritage Command) and the Romanian Gendarmerie, OPFA CULT will promote peer-to-peer cooperation among specialized LEAs, financing ad-hoc training, mentoring and exchange activities.
To learn more about this opportunity stay tuned!