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Europol and EU member states along with Eurojust and Frontex have launched Operation Oscar to assist financial investigations targeting criminal assets.
On 11 April 2022, Europol joined hands with EU member states as well as Frontex and Eurojust to launch Operation Oscar. The operation is formulated to assist financial investigations that target criminal assets belonging to entities sanctioned in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Operation Oscar will support the EU Member States in investigating criminal activities that are carried out to circumvent EU-imposed trade and economic sanctions. Just like operation Sentinel, which targets COVID-19 EU recovery fund fraud, Operation Oscar is an umbrella operation that will continue for a period of at least one year and include a number of separate investigations.
In the framework of Operation Oscar, initiated by Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre, Europol will facilitate partners’ exchange of information and intelligence and provide operational support in a number of financial investigations targeting criminal assets and the circumvention of the EU economic sanctions related to Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine.
Europol is looking to centralise and analyse all information contributed under this operation to identify international links, criminal groups and suspects, as well as new criminal trends and patterns. In addition, Europol will also assist the investigations by providing tailor-made analytical support, operational coordination, forensics and technical expertise, and financial support to the relevant national authorities.
Similarly, Eurojust will be actively involved with the operation through the exchange of strategic and operational information. Eurojust will provide legal assistance and support while strengthening cooperation between national investigating and judicial authorities.
Frontex will contribute to the operation by enhancing the scrutiny of the persons who are crossing EU’s external borders and fall under the scope of the sanctions.