EU Mase Rider: Promoting maritime governance through the regional centres: Continue the regional maritime capacity building through MASE  


PROJECT DURATION: October 2019- October 2022



LOCATION: Kenya, Djibouti, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros




The overall objective of the programme is to promote regional maritime governance through the adaptation of national legislative and regulatory frameworks, as well as enhancing capacity of criminal justice actors to effectively counter the evolving maritime threats in the Indian Ocean.

The specific goal of the Programme is to further support previous MASE Programme (launched with the EU in 2013) in ensuring the operationalisation of the Fusion Centre in Madagascar (RMIFC) and Coordination Centre in Seychelles (RCOC) through improved capacity of Maritime law enforcement units and Fusion centre personnel in handling of maritime and transnational crime information; and supporting the endorsement of critical legislative and regulatory frameworks adaptation to effectively match the evolution of threats and maritime risks.

In the framework of the previous MASE Programme, these centres were established by Kenya, Djibouti, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros (herein after "regional signatories") based on two regional agreements on exchange of information and actions at sea.  



In order to achieve the overall and specific objectives outlined above, the main activities to be conducted during the implementation phase in close partnership with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) are the following:

  • Regional support:

UNODC support RMIFC and RCOC in the development of practical and operational tools for collecting, collating, analysing and disseminating maritime crime and security related information with regional countries/international partners. It will look to develop with the Fusion Centre in Madagascar (RMIFC) and Coordination Centre in Seychelles (RCOC) means to conduct target surveillance of Maritime Zones of Interest (MZOIs) and share counter narcotics related information with respective Drug Enforcement Agencies (DEAs) on a regular basis.  It will assist the RMIFC and RCOC with developing processes and techniques for the sharing of information with key stakeholders throughout the region to help direct the investigation, arrest and prosecution of drug traffickers.

Outcome: successful international and regional cooperation between states to deter, combat, investigate and prosecute transnational organised crimes, including drug trafficking.

  • Maritime Law Enforcement:

UNODC will design and develop Visit, Boarding, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) training with an element of integration with Fusion Centre information sharing applied to practical operations. It will conduct VBSS training to Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding teams for advanced interdiction operations, including seamanship and maritime policing courses for maritime law enforcement officers.Additionally, UNODC will develop and deliver an advanced maritime domain awareness component for the trainings to enhance maritime situational awareness within RMIFC and RCOC area of operations to counter illicit activity at sea. Generally, UNODC will link trafficking trends to VBSS trainings to ensure latest information on the tactics, techniques, and procedures of trafficking organizations are being trained to maritime law enforcement agencies throughout the RMIFC and RCOC area of operations.

Outcome: Developed and strengthened Law Enforcement capacity to effectively counter maritime crime, in particular but not limited to drug trafficking

  • Legal Reform:

UNODC will review the regional signatories' legal frameworks in place and develop recommendations for legislative reform, with a view to ensuring that there are no legislative gaps in combating maritime crime from the disruption stage, prosecution stage, through to the detention stage. Following the abovementioned review, UNODC will draft the necessary laws and regulations or support the relevant ministry or authority in the drafting process, to align and improve the national legal framework.Additionally, UNODC will use the IOFMC Prosecutor Network Forum platform to further review and discuss practicalities of proposed changes to national and legislative frameworks. The Prosecutor Network Forum runs every 6 months and provides a setting for senior prosecutors from across the Indian Ocean region to meet, share knowledge, problem solve, and discuss cooperative strategies for prosecuting maritime crimes and has to date provided an opportunity for senior prosecutors from the region to discuss mechanisms for cooperation and information exchange between prosecution offices, as well as sharing expertise between senior prosecutors involved in a wide range of crimes that occur throughout the Indian Ocean in the maritime domain.

Outcome: Improved national and legislative frameworks, in line with International Standards to enable maritime crime prosecution, in particular, drug trafficking trials.    



Periodic updates on the programme and news highlights are available  here



United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Programme Office in Sri Lanka

Alan Cole

Head of Global Maritime Crime Programme



Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Toral Vadgama

Project coordinator