July 2018 - UNODC under the framework of the projects CRIMJUST and "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria" conducted the first replication workshop on "Drug identification with handheld electronic field testing devices" in Lagos, Nigeria.
In order to ensure systematic replication of trainings, the experts, previously trained in Vienna by UNODC , delivered the workshop to more than 30 participants from law enforcement and customs officers, as well a experts representing national forensic laboratories from Nigeria.
In addition to preventing drug trafficking of traditional drugs such as cocaine, it is essential to develop capacity and control the increasing trafficking of new substances. Hence, the training enhanced the capacity of participants to effectively identify a wide range of controlled substances, as well as new synthetic substances.
The agenda of the training course was composed of practical exercises (hands-on) and a comprehensive overview of methodologies and techniques for accurate analysis of drug samples. Subsequently, the participants under the guidance and instructions of the experts, conducted preliminary screening tests and analysis of the samples.
Under this context, this workshop was the first training in West Africa to introduce the use of hand-held electronic field testing devices, a Raman spectrometer, which with new advanced technology enhances capacities to detect and identify harmful substances.
Overall, the training addressed a growing demand by West African countries- key transit hubs for drug trafficking- to strengthen their pools of forensic laboratory experts, as well as to increase the use of forensic evidence in drug related criminal investigations in the region.
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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