26 - 28 September 2017 in cooperation with WACAP and the Nigerian Drugs Project, CRIMJUST held a joint training for 30 investigators and prosecutors from Ghana and Nigeria on organised crime and drug trafficking cases.
Together with UNODC ROSEN and UNODC Country Office Nigeria, in particular the Nigerian Drugs Project "Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crime in Nigeria", and the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP), CRIMJUST collaborated to bring together criminal justice officials from Ghana and Nigeria, who work on cases of drug trafficking and transnational organised crime. Given the challenges in police and judicial cooperation, regional networks and interregional initiatives serve an important role in facilitating international cooperation at formal and informal levels by building trust.
The objectives of the joint training were to promote collaboration between criminal justice entities in both countries, to increase the capacity of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to work on long-term responses to organized crime, and the development and implementation of relevant juris-prudence and practices in-line with national law, international standards and human rights.
During the training, the 30 participants (among them 10 women) enhanced their knowledge on the specificities of drug trafficking cases and the integrated approaches to handle them, shared good practices in international and regional cooperation regarding organized crime and drug trafficking cases, and exchanged comprehensive information about their respective judiciary system and national criteria for cooperation. The trainers exposed the participants to tools and methodologies for international police cooperation, trained them on legal, ethical and human dignity considerations, and held working groups on case studies related to organised crime to adequately use mutual legal assistance principles.
As a special invitee to the training, Mr. Freitas, Federal Prosecutor and member of the Special Task Force designed to tackle Organized Crime and Corruption in Rio de Janeiro, talked about his daily practice of international judicial cooperation and shared his experience on the famous "car wash" case. He underlined Brazil's successes in cooperating with foreign authorities as well as the common challenges faced by his country, Nigeria and Ghana.
The training concluded on the adoption of a set of recommendations covering international and regional cooperation, capacity building opportunities, legislative development assistance, awareness raising on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in the region as well as increase of visibility of judicial and law enforcement institutions' work on the matter.
Under the framework of the CRIMJUST project funded by European Union Cocaine Route Programme, UNODC and its partners (INTERPOL and TI) aim to assist Member States to enhance their capacity and integrity of criminal justice institutions to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate illicit cocaine trafficking cases, and to foster cooperation at the interregional level for effective action to tackle drug trafficking and related organized crime.
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