Formally known as the European Police Office, Europol is the nonexecutive police agency of the European Union (EU) established to improve cooperation and intelligence sharing between authorities in member states in order to help combat a range of organized and transnational crimes. Priority is given to fraud, currency and commodity counterfeiting, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and trafficking of human beings, drugs, and radioactive materials; in January 2002, these priorities were expanded to include terrorism and other forms of international organized crime. Other crimes of interest include child pornography, stolen vehicles, and other offenses with transnational dimensions. As a type of information clearinghouse, Europol helps to facilitate information and intelligence exchange between liaison officers and law-enforcement agencies. Europol also provides operational, investigative, and technical support ...

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