Sometime in the early morning of 18 October, a number of offices of organisations working in tobacco control were broken into and items stolen. These organisations are on different floors in the same building, and with the exception of one unrelated other forced entry – where nothing was disturbed – these were the only organisations targeted. A police investigation is ongoing, however early indications are that this was not opportunistic, but a professional and well-equipped raid.
The EPHA office was affected in the following ways:
Two laptops stolen – desktops and further laptops not taken. The two belonged to the policy team and a senior staff member.
Cash and personal belongings were removed.
Some early indications that both electronic and physical files were targeted including policy and strategy documents, as well as confidential internal documents relating to EPHA’s organisation and staff
We have received a number of questions on whether this break in is related to the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive and the resignation of John Dalli as Commissioner. It is too early to comment on this, however we would like to repeat our call on the European Commission and President Barroso to release the Directive in the interests of public health and transparency.
We would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding during this disruption to our normal activities. It has clearly affected our ability to continue the public debate on this important issue at this critical time. We do, however, remain committed to our position on the need for stricter legislation on tobacco products, greater enforcement of lobbying transparency and ensuring that policymaking is not controlled by powerful vested interests.
Contact information Javier Delgado Rivera, Communications Coordinator - +32 (0) 2 233 38 76