European Union External Action

Combatting Organised Crime in Libya

04/12/2019 - 17:05
News stories

Crosscutting information and data checking is compulsory for Libya law enforcement to combat organised and financial crimes, terrorism, human trafficking and other crimes in Libya. To provide a robust solution to support the fight against organised crime, EUBAM Libya acknowledged this need, and provided immediate support, to address the current information and coordination gap, by also supporting the idea to create a Crime Information Unit (CIU) in Libya.

The setup is definitely not new.  In most modern police organisations, analysis of crime data and sharing of information between law enforcement agencies is common in order to fight crime. In fact, the so called “intelligence led policing” is a crucial tool for law enforcement agencies to combat crime. Against this backdrop, the aim is to connect the different Libyan law enforcement agencies and introduce the Intelligence led policing principals. 

After several months of intensive work with the Libyan law enforcement authorities represented in the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), the General Administration for Anti-Narcotic (ANGA), the Libyan Interpol office, General Administration for Border Security (GABS), the approval was given to EUBAM Libya to set up a Crime Information Unit (CIU) in Libya.

The first step of starting up the CIU, was training the selected officers of Libyan law enforcement authorities as well as assisting them in initiating and structuring the work of the Unit. After the first week of training the participants were sent home to investigate and analyse what kind of information they were collecting in their own departments. In the second part of the training, these results were compared and presented, with the idea to unify the data collection processes between the agencies.

One of the members of the CIU who participated in the training stated:

The training is a good start and therefore it will give us a tool to start up the Crime Information Unit which is paramount for Libya’s security sector. During the Gaddafi era, sharing information between agencies was not accepted and even forbidden, being seen as crime or felony. This legacy is still somehow imbedded in some agencies. For us, it’s difficult and comes not natural to share information, but I am concerned about drugs in Libya, which is a problem we need to fight back”.

In the preparatory development of the Crime Information Unit, Libyan Law enforcement agencies initiated the process to collect, analyse and share crime data. After internal organisation of the data collection and sharing in Libya, a future improvement will be to connect the CIU to the international law enforcement agencies and setup an International Law Enforcement Cooperation Unit (ILECU). As any other country combatting organised crime, Libya would benefit by having a tool to coordinate crime data at an international level. With this international connection, Libya will open up the flow of information to modern international police organisations. By setting up an ILECU organisation, Libya can disrupt crimes that has taken place in an international context.

The CIU training, coordinated and facilitated by EUBAM Libya, was the first step in strengthening the information position of the Libyan law enforcement agencies. EUBAM Libya initiated and prepared a dedicated Small Scale Project which is funded by the mission itself.

The training delivered to the CIU is supported by the Austrian police which has increased the level of training provided.