05BUCHAREST1256 / 2005-05-27 10:49:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001256 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
1.  International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs 
(INL) Acting Assistant Secretary Nancy Powell traveled to 
Bucharest May 10-11 for meetings at the Southeast European 
Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Center and to discuss INL 
regional and bilateral programs and issues with key Romanian 
officials.  Romanian President Traian Basescu underscored 
continued Romanian commitment to SECI Center and expressed 
strong appreciation for USG support over the years.  Deputy 
Interior Minister Florin Sandu similarly emphasized the 
importance of SECI Center's regional role and the value of 
USG continued support of the work of SECI.  End Summary. 
SECI Welcomes AA/S Powell 
2.  SECI Center Acting Director General Alexandrou Ionas 
welcomed AA/S Powell May 10 on her first visit to SECI 
Center.  SECI is a twelve member state organization, with 
police and customs representatives assigned from each.  In 
addition to acting as an information sharing center on 
current cases, a series of operational task forces develop 
new cases in transborder crime.  Ionas expressed firm 
appreciation for the support the U.S. had provided SECI over 
the years, including the recent funding of the financial 
crime task force.  That task force had been dormant for 
several years and now is being reactivated with the 
assistance of the Secret Service and the Italian Financial 
Police and the posting of an INL officer at the Center to 
coordinate assistance funds. 
3.  In the overview of SECI programs, General Ionas detailed 
a recent case in which a Moldovan trafficking witness, who 
was forced to testify a second time by a Macedonian court, 
did so via video teleconferencing from Moldova.  The 
equipment was purchased by the FBI liaison at SECI and was 
coordinated through the Macedonian and Moldovan officers 
posted to the SECI Center.  This video testimony was the 
first of its kind in the region, supported by recently 
enacted laws in both Moldova and Macedonia which made the 
testimony possible by not requiring the victim to travel to 
the location of the court that is hearing the case.  AA/S 
Powell congratulated the SECI Center on this operation and 
expressed her hope that future opportunities would allow 
this and other technological advances to be utilized in 
transborder crime issues. 
4.  AA/S Powell was also briefed on the possible role of 
SECI in a larger Black Sea Security Initiative and how that 
role could expand in cooperating with the Black Sea Economic 
Cooperative (BSEC) Organization.  General Ionas pointed out 
that threats in the Black Sea region will come from non- 
state actors with associations to organized crime.  He 
demonstrated that SECI is well equipped to assist in the 
fight against organized crime, not only in the Balkans but 
in the Black Sea region.  He based that conclusion on the 
fact that a majority of SECI states are also members of 
BSEC, thereby facilitating cooperation between the two 
5.  AA/S Powell also received a detailed briefing on the 
work of the Southeast Europe Prosecutor's Advisory Group 
(SEEPAG) and how their work is directly linked with that of 
the SECI Center.  Ionas concluded the briefing with a tour 
of the headquarters, which is located in a section of the 
Palace of the Parliament, which had been originally 
constructed by former dictator Nicolai Ceasescu. 
6.  In her comments, AA/S Powell praised the recent 
successes in human trafficking convictions and emphasized 
the importance of targeting human trafficking in the region, 
the reactivation of the financial crime task force, since 
this has proven to be an effective tool in combating 
organized crime, and the plans of involving SECI in the 
Black Sea Security Initiative.  She further expressed her 
pleasure that SECI has done so much in the fight against 
transborder crime in only four years of operation.  Finally, 
she said it was important for SECI to reach out to EU 
institutions as the date for EU accession approaches. 
President Basescu: Thank You for Your Support 
7.  During the Southeast Europe Cooperative Process (SEECP) 
meeting being hosted in Bucharest, the heads of government 
of all Southeast European Countries took the time to visit 
the SECI Center on May 11.  AA/S Powell had the opportunity 
to meet Romanian President Traian Basescu as well as Special 
Coordinator of Stability Pact (SCSP) Ehrhard Busek.  She 
also exchanged greetings with UNMIK Deputy Special 
Representative of UN Secretary General (DSRSG) Larry Rossin, 
and spoke briefly with him about SECI's role in building 
stability in the region by targeting organized crime.  In a 
brief exchange, Basescu thanked AA/S Powell for the firm 
support of the SECI Center and commented later to SECI 
Acting Director Ionas that US support is critical for SECI 
to build on its current successes such as the recent 
February arrests of human traffickers.  Finally, Busek 
pointed out the importance of resources devoted to SECI to 
remain at SECI.  He recognized the importance of other 
regional initiatives such as GUAM but argued they should not 
divert SECI resources. 
Deputy Interior Minister Sandu Appreciative of INL Programs 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
8.  In a meeting with Deputy Interior Minister Florin Sandu 
AA/S Powell was thanked for the INL bilateral programs 
initiated and coordinated through Post.  Sandu emphasized 
the programs in anti-trafficking, cyber crime and anti- 
narcotics as examples of highly successful programs that 
have produced visible results.  Additionally, the 
International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) was cited as a 
vital program not only for Romania but for the entire 
region.  Sadu pointed out that over two hundred Romanians 
have graduated from ILEA and AA/S Powell added that many of 
those two hundred Romanians graduated at the top of their 
class.  Deputy Minister Sandu then thanked AA/S Powell for 
support and INL leadership with the SECI Center.  He stated 
that SECI fills a gap in regional law enforcement which 
could not be filled by INTERPOL or EUROPOL.  He added that 
he would like to see SECI's role expand to risk analysis in 
the transborder crime arena, going beyond these first steps 
of information sharing between police and customs officers 
in the region.  He pointed out that SECI has the advantage 
of having customs as well as police assets.  This he viewed 
as a force multiplier in combating fraud cases. 
9. Acting Assistant Secretary Powell cleared this cable. 
10. AmEmbassy Bucharest's Reporting telegrams, as well as 
daily press summaries, are available on the Bucharest 
SIPRNet website:  www.state.sgov/gov/p/eur/bucharest. 

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