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Seychelles police force benefits from UNODC maritime training.

Mahe, (Seychelles), April 2023 - “I found the course to be very fruitful and effective both in theory and in practice”. That’s the opinion of Ralph Agathine of the Seychelles Police Force, following a U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (U.S. INL) funded programme, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Maritime Programme (UNODC GMCP). 

Seychelles is an archipelagic nation located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. As an island nation, it has a vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that covers approximately 1.3 million square kilometres. This extensive maritime territory makes the country vulnerable to a wide range of maritime crimes. 

To advance development and promote prosperity, immediate threats to maritime security must be combatted, whilst building local capacities in a sustainable way. This requires meaningful investment, commitment, and political will. UNODC GMCP, through its strong support from U.S. INL, is partnering with Member States across the Indian Ocean West (IOW) region to assist national authorities in meeting these needs to enhance skills and coordinate efforts against maritime crime.   

Within the framework of this collaboration, Seychelles Police Force personnel completed a Boarding Team Member Qualification Training Course in April 2023. This capacity-building training forms part of the U.S. INL funded in-country mentorship programme that embeds UNODC GMCP maritime law enforcement experts in seven countries across the IOW region, inclusive of Comoros, Kenya Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Seychelles. The four-week course, implemented from 3 to 28 April 2023, trained participants from the Seychelles Police Force. The qualification training course covered a variety of topics, including Visit, Boarding, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) tactics, as well as appropriate use of force, defence techniques, water survival, handcuffing, and escorting suspects.

Twenty participants, including four women, successfully achieved the qualification. Inspector Ralph Agathine said, “The training enhanced skills, including how to use a proportionate amount of force, how to react when meeting a passive resistor, active resistor, and active aggressor. I look forward to applying this knowledge in order to enhance maritime security and prevent illegal activities in Seychelles’ waters”.

The course also included use of the recently renovated UNODC training dhow, which was utilised to simulate VBSS operations. The use of the training dhow provided participants with a realistic environment to practice their skills and enhance capabilities to safely board and effectively search the specific type of vessel typically used in illicit cargo transportation.

At the closing ceremony, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires James Donegan thanked UNODC for its continued support to Seychelles’ maritime law enforcement units and expressed pride for the integrity and commitment demonstrated by all officers. 

UNODC will continue with such mentorship programmes and capacity building initiatives in the second half of the year, including additional training opportunities for personnel from the Seychelles Police Force, Special Forces and Coast Guard.  

In attendance at the graduation ceremony (from left), James Donegan of U.S. Embassy Seychelles, Police Commissioner Ted Barbe, Deputy Police Commissioner Francis Songoire and Liaison Officer at Seychelles Coast Guard Capt. Kelvin Freminot

For more information, please contact:

Mr. David O’Connell (

Western Indian Ocean Programme Coordinator

Global Maritime Crime Programme

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Click here to visit the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme website.