Police Chief Commissioner Cristian Eftimie Romania
As a graduate of the eight-week ILEA core program, Police Chief Commissioner Cristian Eftimie has gained solid professional knowledge from U.S. law enforcement trainers on how to effectively dismantle complex criminal groups and he successfully applied those principles in his subsequent investigative work that has led to remarkable achievements. A good illustration of his work was Operation “Cancun – the Riviera Maya Gang” (2018 – 2021), coordinated with U.S. partners from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and targeting a criminal group led by Florian Tudor (aka “The Shark”) that had been active in Romania, Mexico, the United States and other countries, with the purpose of committing computer and electronic payment frauds (cloning cards), trafficking migrants on the route Romania – Mexico – Unites States, blackmail and money laundering. The estimated value of the financial damage generated by the gang members was 300 million USD. Moreover, the case involved an initial attempted murder followed by a fatal shooting of a Romanian citizen in Cancun, all orchestrated by the group leader. Chief Commissioner Eftimie was the investigator who started the case on July 5, 2018 based on intelligence that he had gathered. He remained in charge of the case throughout all the stages that involved evidence collection, interviews or interrogations and complex operational coordination with international partners. The officer has initiated a permanent and timely information exchange with the FBI Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. Additionally, two sting operations were carefully planned – one on March 19, 2019 in Bali, Indonesia that identified six of the suspects carrying skimming devices and cloned cards; the second on March 30, 2019 in Puerto Morales, Mexico where the gang leader and another significant member of the group carried weapons and large amounts of money. In May 2019 an impressive international coordination meeting was hosted in Bucharest by the Romanian Police with U.S. law enforcement representatives, Mexican Federal Police and colleagues from the Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalia General De Republica). As a result of all these team efforts and due to an exceptional management of resources, the takedown was conducted on July 25, 2019. The 24 house searches led to impressive seizures of money, weapons and assets (jewelry, luxury cars or watches). The following indictment led to the arrest of six suspects for setting up a criminal group, attempted murder, blackmail, unlawful use of weapons, etc. Judicial procedures were thoroughly prepared by the investigative team of the Romanian Police led by Police Chief Commissioner Eftimie, resulting in an international arrest warrant issued for the team leader on February 26, 2021. Through extended cooperation with U.S. and Mexican authorities, Florian Tudor, aka “The Shark” was finally captured in Ciudad de Mexico on May 27, 2021 and is currently being held in Mexico’s highest security prison until his extradition request is approved. As the lead investigator in this complex and highly publicized organized crime case, Mr. Eftimie has put to excellent use all the theoretical and practical skills gained at ILEA Budapest, particularly the expertise in cybercrime, techniques to dismantle international gangs, financial investigations of illicit gains, asset seizure, team coordination, strategic leadership, liaison work and Police ethics.