12-13 December 2018 The Joint Debrief Meeting between UNODC representatives, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of Nigeria and Ghana's Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) and the National Crime Agency(NCA) of the United Kingdom, was held in Vienna, Austria.
The meeting organized by UNODC under the framework of the projects CRIMJUST and "Response to Drugs and related Organized Crime in Nigeria" focused on the operational results generated by Operation Eagle III, an intelligence-led joint operation conducted in November 2018 simultaneously in Ghana and Nigeria. The parallel operation targeted the movement of drugs between both countries, exchanging real-time intelligence between respective focal points and using Handheld Drug Detection Devices previously provided by UNODC.
Participants provided an overview of criminal cases, drug seizures, and arrests generated by the joint operation in Ghana and Nigeria and discussed further implications and lessons learned following each case, including links to other forms of organized crime, dismantlement of drug laboratories and subsequent prosecution and investigation based on the intelligence gained during the operation. Officials from Ghana and Nigeria exchanged measures to strengthen future activities, such as joint training on cryptocurrencies and specialized investigations techniques.
During the meeting experts from UNODC shared information on issues related to drug trafficking and organized crime, such as cybercrime and cryptocurrencies, integrity measures and current drug trafficking trends. Valuable recommendations and discussions regarding measures for further international cooperation in criminal matters and responses to current drug trafficking trends were held.
Reinforcing a CRIMJUST pillar on regional cooperation, Ghanaian and Nigerian officials highlighted the need for further steps to strengthen international cooperation through effective implementation of multilateral provisions and discussed practical measures to improve cooperation in the area of mutual legal assistance.
The meeting finalized with the creation of a roadmap and plans for the next phase of collaboration in the first quarter of 2019, which will include elements such as a focus on intelligence-led joint activities with a prosecutorial approach and a wider geographical scope.
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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