16-18 July 2018 - The increase of the production of drugs in West Africa and the diversification of trafficking methods used by organized criminal groups across borders highlight the crucial role of regional and inter-regional cooperation in improving the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking and organized crime cases in Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria.
In order to promote regional cooperation, CRIMJUST, the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP) and the UNODC Project "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria" implemented a three-day joint workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. Thirty participants from Ghanaian, Liberian and Nigerian criminal justice agencies discussed good practices to increase the efficiency of investigations and prosecutions on complex drug trafficking and organized crime cases.
During the opening remarks, Marco Teixeira, Global Coordinator of CRIMJUST mentioned the key importance of building trust among criminal justice operators to enhance formal and informal cooperation while also robusting the investigation and prosecution of complex drug cases.
The aim of this workshop was two-fold. During the first days of the training, participants were given the opportunity to discuss obstacles they face, as well as good practices they identified in the investigation and prosecution of transnational drug trafficking and organized crime cases, with a particular focus on regional and inter-regional cooperation. This training also allowed them to increase their knowledge of the respective judicial system, international and national legislative frameworks. Finally, opportunities for technical assistance and capacity-building were explored.
Through presentations, plenary discussions, group work and case studies, the workshop addressed the situation of drug trafficking and organized crime in the region, obstacles encountered in the investigation of drug trafficking and organized crime cases, the international legal framework and particularly the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its three additional protocols, legislative and administrative measures to enhance mutual legal assistance (MLA) and other forms of international cooperation, special investigation techniques, inter-agency cooperation and models of functioning central authorities as well as related challenges and good practices.
The participants, 20% of them being women, discussed and agreed on recommendations related to different topics:
UNODC is committed to continue supporting at the practical and technical levels future specialized technical assistance that will address the country gaps identified during this workshop.
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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