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Finland and Estonia Step Up Anti-Crime Cooperation

Finland and Estonia will establish joint criminal investigation teams. Their goal will be to increase the effectiveness of information exchange and preliminary enquiries in criminal cases affecting both countries. On Monday in Helsinki, police, customs and border guard officials from both sides agreed to cooperate closely. Police Chief Director Markku Salminen said monitoring the members of highly organised criminal groups and tracking crimes using joint investigatory teams would reap benefits for both sides. The exchange of DNA data is also expected to increase. Cooperation at Border Points Cooperation among Finnish, Estonian and Russian border officials has been ongoing for more than ten years. With the enlargement of the Schengen area, Finnish and Estonian border stations have expanded information exchange as well as crime prevention operations at the national and local levels. Customs officials have come together particularly for drug prevention operations. Customs Director General, Tapani Erling says cooperation with Estonian customs and other officials in anti-crime activities, has been productive, particularly in the area of drug prevention. Cooperation efforts have become more important with Estonia's accession to the Schengen treaty, as customs officials are the only authorities overseeing harbours. An on-site crime information point is in continuous operation at the Port of Helsinki. Its objective is to monitor maritime cargo and passenger traffic and to support police, customs and border guard stations. YLE

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