Security Information Service (BIS)

Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic

Organized crime

The powers and responsibilities of the BIS in regard to securing information on organized crime

  • Section 5, paragraph 1, letter e) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS secures information regarding organized crime and terrorism
  • Section 5, paragraph 4 of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS fulfills further tasks as defined by specific legislation or international treaties by which the Czech Republic is bound

In regard to organized crime, the BIS follows the activities of entities either exploiting illegal or illegitimate methods in order to maximize or launder their profits or aiming to mask their real interests and advance them in a way threatening the security of the Czech Republic and the country’s economic interests.

  • These activities include promoting specific interests by employing unacceptable methods in order to influence the decision-making of state authorities, local administration bodies and judiciary authorities, and to illegitimately impact legislation processes at the central level.
  • These activities often harm public budgets and assets; moreover they negatively impact the interests of the Czech Republic not only on the economic level.
  • The above mentioned activities violate the legality and independence of exercising state power and the legitimacy of decisions made by state authorities. This weakens public trust in state authorities, and as a result threatens the democratic foundations of a legal state.

 

Therefore, the BIS focuses mainly on informal non-institutionalized structures taking the form of lobbyist and clientelistic networks. In some cases these networks create parallel power structures threatening to disrupt or disrupting the activities of state authorities and local administration bodies.

  • Occasionally, legal persons (often business entities difficult to punish given the character of their activities) have close ties to the above mentioned structures.
  • A strict formal structure and hierarchical relations are not typical for these entities. More often they are characterized by a methodical approach and by engaging in activities spanning a long time period.

 

The BIS has identified the following methods as being most frequently applied by the above mentioned groups: corruption, the exploitation of clientelistic networks, collusion, exercising economic influence or pressure, media manipulation, taking advantage of firms and companies from the legal economy and exploiting non-governmental organizations.

 

Organized crime within the powers and responsibilities of the BIS surpasses its narrow definition in the Criminal code. Organized crime is defined not only by the illegality of the methods it employs, but also by the threats it poses to strategic interests of the Czech Republic. Legally stipulated powers and responsibilities of the BIS state that the BIS is not responsible for investigating criminal activities and imposing criminal sanctions. The main role of the BIS is to discover and offset the negative impacts of organized crime on the exercise of state power, the constitutional, political and societal stability of the Czech Republic and on its international perception. Furthermore, the BIS must inform legally stipulated addressees about its findings.

 

 

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