Sensitive details leak from Europol

Europe's police agency is in deep crisis after sensitive and confidential files stored at Europol's headquarters in The Hague went missing last summer.

WORLD MARCH 27. 2024 13:32

There is still no progress in a case that shook the European Union at the end of last summer, when several highly sensitive documents containing the personal details of top law enforcement executives went missing.

According to an internal agency note seen by Politico, the hardcopy personnel files of Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle and other senior officials leaked sometime before last September. When officials checked all the agency’s records, they discovered additional missing files as well, the article adds.

Europol is one of the European Union’s largest agencies. It coordinates major international investigations and operations with national police authorities and partners like Interpol and the United States’ FBI.

Politico spoke to four current and former officials of Europol with knowledge of the incident. Some of the lost files reappeared when a citizen found them abandoned in a public place in The Hague and brought them to a local police station, one of the the four officials said.

„The human resources files can contain information about the officials’ birth dates, marriage status, dependents, relevant training, current address and other confidential information as well,”

– one of the officials said.

As is known, following the incident, the head of Human Resources at the agency, Massimiliano Bettin, was placed on administrative leave, the four officials said. Europol’s internal note said that „the head of the HR unit will not be available until further notice.” Bettin did not wish to comment or issue a statement to the paper regarding the incident.

Europol’s sensitive hardcopy HR files are kept locked away in a safe, in a room that is limited to restricted personnel. Very few people know the code to the safe, one of the officials who had direct knowledge of the procedure said. It is unclear how the files were taken.

One theory is that the files could have been taken to damage Bettin, in the context of internal conflicts within the agency, according to officials. Bettin, who served as chief marshal in Italy’s police forces, had been the head of HR at Europol since 2016.



documents, europol