NEWS: U.S. and Hungary join forces against crime groups

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Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Wed, 7 Oct 1998 08:05:40 -0700 (PDT)


U.S. and Hungary join forces against crime groups
         
            WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Hungary
announced Tuesday that their law enforcement officials would
increase cooperation to crack down on international organized
crime groups operating in Central Europe.
            Senior officials from both countries said their plan would
be aimed primarily at Russian-speaking criminal groups based in
Budapest and would call for the FBI to provide a wide range of
assistance to Hungarian law enforcement authorities.
            Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a news conference
at FBI headquarters that a July 2 bombing attack in Budapest
that killed four people was a key factor behind the crackdown.
            ``That was enough,'' he said, adding that a top priority
would be to get rid of the groups involved in the bombing and to
fight organized crime.
            Attorney General Janet Reno described Hungary as a ``key
battleground'' in the fight against international organized
crime. ``To organized criminals, our message is simple -- you
will not get a free ride in central Europe,'' she said.
            FBI agents with expertise in organized crime cases,
laboratory and forensic assistance and in other areas will join
Hungarian officials to create joint strike forces, U.S.
officials said.
            Among the other steps to be taken, the United States will
provide laboratory and forensic training and assistance and
enhanced training for Hungarian law enforcement officials to
investigate major organized crime cases. The two countries also
will set up a joint law enforcement working group.
            ``This will be a model for the rest of Europe,'' said Peter
Tufo, the U.S. ambassador to Hungary. It ``demonstrates our
mutual determination to stamp out this developing plague in
Central Europe.''
         ^REUTERS@


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