CRIMJUST, WACAP and the Nigerian Drugs Project together to combat drug trafficking and organized crime

     This activity was financed by the European Union

The increase in the production of drugs in West Africa and the diversification of trafficking methods used by transnational criminal groups 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 this framework, CRIMJUST, the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP) and the UNODC Project "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria" organized a joint three-day workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, between 16 and 18 July 2018. The workshop's aim was for 30 Ghanaian, Liberian and Nigerian criminal justice practitioners, including 5 women, to discuss and share good practices, to increase the efficiency of investigations and prosecutions on complex drug trafficking and organized crime cases.

 
Participants exchanging views during the workshop

The aim of the workshop was two-fold. On the one hand, participants were given the opportunity to discuss obstacles they face as well as good practices they identified during the investigation and prosecution of transnational drug trafficking and organized crime cases, with a particular focus on regional and inter-regional cooperation. Discussions focused on possible 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. On the other hand, this training allowed participants to increase their knowledge of their respective judicial systems and of international and national legislative frameworks (including the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its three additional protocols). Finally, opportunities for technical assistance and capacity-building were explored. These objectives were both reached through presentations, plenary discussions, group work and case studies.

Finally, the participants discussed and agreed on recommendations related to various other topics:

-       Sharing of information is increased;

-       Engagement of political stakeholders for legal amendments is promoted;

-       Early engagement of prosecutors is ensured;

-       Awareness-raising activities regarding existing legal frameworks are developed;

-       Measures to increase the efficiency of investigations and prosecutions are developed, including staff retention, capacity building, the use of all international legal instruments, including MLA and other forms of international cooperation, regional networks such as WACAP and interregional initiatives such as CRIMJUST to facilitate informal cooperation as well as measures to enhance inter-agency cooperation and to strengthen Central Authorities.

UNODC is committed to continue supporting, at practical and technical level, future specialized technical assistance that will address the 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 Transparency International) aim to assist Member States to enhance the capacity and integrity of their 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.

For more information:

The Nigerian Drugs Project

CRIMJUST

West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP)

UNODC ROSEN

UNODC Nigeria

WACAP Website

WACAP Newsletter (Jan-April 2017)

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