Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen: Finland, Russia and Estonia to increase cooperation in the fight against drug-related crime

Between 26 and 27 February, Finnish Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen visited St Petersburg where she met Estonian Minister of the Interior Ken-Marti Vaher and Director of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Minister Viktor Ivanov. During the visit, a cooperation protocol was signed between the three countries, aimed at further increasing their cooperation in the fight against drug-related crime. Issues covered by the protocol include guidelines on the mutual application of controlled delivery between the countries.

Controlled delivery means a method by which a pre-trial investigation authority may refrain from intervening in the transport or other delivery of an object, substance or property, if this is necessary in order to identify persons participating in an offence that is being committed, or to detect an offence or a crime cluster that is more serious than the offence that is being committed.

For example, a consignment of drugs may be allowed to pass through the customs to find out its intended recipient. The purpose of controlled delivery is to detect the senders and recipients of drugs, together withdrug delivery channels.

– We have cooperated in controlled deliveries previously, too, but now we intend to step up this cooperation, said Ms Räsänen.

Fight against organised crime
The Ministers agreed that antidrug cooperation between the countries should focus on targeted fight against transnational organised crime, undermining drug trafficking infrastructure and eliminating transnational drug trafficking routes.

Cases involving major drug-related crime investigated in Finland clearly show that drug trafficking is professional and mainly operated by organised crime groups. Finnish crime groups hold a strong position in domestic drug trafficking and have close relations with operators abroad, particularly in Estonia.

– Increasing mobility between our countries will probably have an impact on the volume and type of transnational organised crime. The more people cross the border, the greater the risk that there is crime involved, said Ms Räsänen.

The ministerial meeting took place in conjunction with a meeting of the FER group. Launched in 2003, the FER group is a cooperation forum of Finland, Estonia and Russia for combating crime. Its particular focus is on the prevention and investigation of drug-related crime.

Source: Finnish Government