UNODC trains more than 30 specialists to fight Methamphetamine trafficking in Ivory Coast

This activity was funded by the European  Union

Dakar, 03 October 2016- Drug trafficking and associated criminal networks continue to pose daily challenges to West African States. The consequences are multifaceted with adverse effects on governance, public health and economies of affected countries. The situation of Sahelian countries could prove cross-border activities of organized criminal groups. Criminal networks take advantage of the instability prevailing in some African countries to implement activities targeting youth. From transit zone, some countries become areas of consumption and production of drugs.

The flow of illegal drugs (cocaine, cannabis, heroin ...) demand a concerted, organized and coherent response, at national and regional level from States and all actors involved in the fight. The outbreak of methamphetamine-type synthetic drugs in West Africa makes the response even more urgent.

To address these challenges appropriately, the Regional Office for West and Central Africa of the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized from 03-07October 2016 in Abidjan a "Workshop on operational strategies against the diversion of Precursors and trafficking in Methamphetamine." The activity took place in the premises of the National Police Academy (training Branch).

 

 
 Group photo of the participants
 Participants receiving their certificates from Gary Hyde (UNODC)

 

The workshop is part of the " Project Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa", funded by European Union (Abuja Bureau). The Project is implemented by UNODC in collaboration with ECOWAS.

The purpose was to train Law enforcement bodies to operational control techniques against methamphetamine and the diversion of precursors.

The precursors (drugs), are chemical substance whose use is lawful, but can be diverted to produce illicit substances. They are legally used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, perfumes, petroleum products, paints ...  ephedrine for instance is used in cold medicines.

The lack (or almost) of control over ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, two keys chemical precursors needed to manufacture methamphetamine, fuels logistical facilities for criminal networks involved in trafficking.The use of the precursors is submitted to control and subject to supervision in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Recent studies have shown the breakthrough among the youth made by synthetic drugs including methamphetamine in West Africa.

The Permanent Representative of ECOWAS in Côte d'Ivoire, His Excellency Babacar Carlos Mbaye reminded at the opening ceremony: "It is precisely in view of such challenges that ECOWAS Member States adopted in Abuja, 5 September 2016, the Action Plan against drugs for 2016-2020, in line with previous regional commitments such as the Declaration of Heads of State and Government in 2008 called Praia Declaration and the ECOWAS Action Plan to fight against drugs 2008-2014 / 2015.

In the context of the ECOWAS Action Plan against Drugs implementation, UNODC strengthens the capacities of institutions in charge of fighting against drugs. Trainings of the kind have been already held in Mali, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Burkina Faso.

UNODC has provided technical assistance to West African States for 20 years, through its Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN) based in Dakar, Senegal, along with the 10 other local offices in different countries of the region. Custodian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols, as well as the three conventions on International drug control, UNODC is mandated to assist all Member States to strengthen their national responses in conformity with international norms and standards.

For more information:

UNODC action against drug trafficking in West Africa

Support Project to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking in West Africa

UNODC Sahel Programme