US Secret Service opens office in Tallinn

The U.S. Secret Service on Friday officially opened its office in the Estonian capital Tallinn. Ambassador Michael C. Polt said at the opening that the office, which is the first in the Baltic region, will strengthen the international network of the Secret Service. Although the name of the agency is Secret Service it is not secret, he quipped.

The Tallinn office of the Secret Service will engage in co-operation to combat cyber crime, but this will not be its only task, the ambassador said.

Estonia’s Justice Minister Kristen Michal said the co-operation between U.S. and Estonian law enforcement agencies will become closer after the opening of the office. Both countries have great common interest in combating cyber crime, he noted.

Visiting Secret Service Assistant Director A.T. Smith said the opening of the office does not bring changes to Estonian and U.S. authorities’ co-operation to fight cyber crime. The Secret Service has worked together with the Estonian authorities before but now “we’re only a phone call away,” he pointed out.

Smith acknowledged that one of the reasons why Estonia was chosen for the location of the office is that criminals from this Baltic state are connected with a number of solved international cyber crimes and bank frauds. As a second reason, he named Estonia’s information technology-related progress, describing the country as the Baltic Silicon Valley.

The Secret Service will work closely together with its Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian law enforcement colleagues in criminal investigation.

The U.S. embassy earlier said that Estonia was selected as the site for the new Secret Service office “due to both the investigative nexus it provides in combating cyber and financial crimes, as well as the opportunity it provides the agency in the fulfilment of its protective duties within the region.”

The Secret Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the United States, established as early as 1865. It is best known as the agency responsible for protecting the president of the United States. At the same time it has other duties, such as combating crime directed against the financial infrastructure of the United States, including counterfeiting of banknotes and treasury checks, and cyber crime.

Source: Estonian Review

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