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Improving port security in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean 

Mombasa, 29 January 2021 - The first training organised under the European Union-funded Port Security and Safety of Navigation Programme concluded today in the seaport of Mombasa, Kenya. 

Through its Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) and Container Control Programme (CCP), UNODC will be supporting maritime, port, customs and police administrations, and other stakeholders responsible for maritime and port security and safety in nine countries in the region over the next four years. 

“In this course we focus on inter-agency cooperation and an integrated, multi-agency approach to port security. Inter-agency collaboration is key to improve security in the port environment,” UNODC GMCP expert, Mr. Scott Anbuen Naidoo, explained. 

Over the past few years, maritime trade routes in the Indian Ocean have become critical to the economic development and prosperity of the ‘Global South’. 

Linking East Africa, the Middle East, and South/Southeast Asia, these routes have also been exploited by criminal syndicates to move illicit goods such as narcotics, counterfeit products and CITES-protected wildlife from one continent to another. 

Gaps in maritime law enforcement and compliance with international standards for safety and security, and insufficient regional cooperation, has rendered the region’s seaports highly vulnerable to illegal trafficking. 

More than 30 officers from the Maritime Law Enforcement, Port State Control, Kenya Port Security, Kenya Port Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Maritime Authority and Kenya Wildlife Service gathered in a conducive environment to interact and build a solid ground for future cooperation during the training that commenced on 18 January. 

“From the discovery of criminal activities in the seaport or within national waters to the prosecution of the suspected authors, this training has really broadened our scope in the whole crime scene process," PCU Mombasa Team Leader, Kenya Revenue Authority, Mr. Khamis Mbarak, said. 

In close collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and INTERPOL, and under the coordination of the Indian Ocean Commission, UNODC will be implementing the EU Port Security and Safety of Navigation Programme in the following nine countries: Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles and Tanzania. 

The inception phase began in 2020 with field visits and virtual meetings with national counterparts to discuss the modalities for implementing this important Port Security and Safety of Navigation Programme. 

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