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EU-wide operation targeting criminal assets in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Operation Oscar to support the freezing of criminal assets owned by EU-sanctioned individuals and entities

Today, 11 April 2022, Europol, jointly with EU Member States, Eurojust and Frontex, launched Operation Oscar to support financial investigations by EU Member States targeting criminal assets owned by individuals and legal entities sanctioned in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Operation Oscar will also aim to support criminal investigations by Member States in relation to the circumvention of EU-imposed trade and economic sanctions. Similar to operation Sentinel, which targets fraud against COVID-19 EU recovery funds, 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 circumvention of the EU economic sanctions related to the Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine. Europol will 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. Europol will further provide tailor-made analytical support to investigations, as well as operational coordination, forensics and technical expertise, and financial support to the relevant national authorities. 

Eurojust will be actively involved with the operation through the exchange of strategic and operational information. Eurojust will furthermore provide legal assistance and support and strengthen 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. Taking advantage of the large spectrum of the operational activities of Frontex, the task will be implemented in the all their domains – land, sea and air.

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