Awareness raising mission on GRIDS program and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Cameroon during the Interpol workshop on drug control technics.

Yaoundé, 3rd August 2022-The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recently participated in a workshop on drug control technics organized by the Interpol Regional Office of Cameroon in Yaoundé for the benefit of police, customs, gendarmerie officers and Cameroonian prosecutors. 

This initiative had two (2) approaches: Trainings and awareness-raising presentations. The trainings were focused on the activities of judicial police officers, which range from the detection of offences to the transmission of files to the judiciary and investigations. These themes have been taught by specialists from the judiciary, the police and customs of Cameroon. The Awareness-raising presentations targeted Interpol's knowledge, drug trends in Central Africa and, above all, new psychoactive substances and non-medical synthetic opioids.

In this regard, the Regional Technical Officer, RTO was able to present the GRIDS programme in that it is original and innovative in its approaches to tackle the new psychoactive substances and non-medical synthetic opioids trafficking. The presentation focused on the Mission of the SINCB, the GRIDS programme tools to combat NPS smuggling, the trainings provided to frontline officers and especially the importance of the IONICS platform.

The participants greatly appreciated this presentation and some of them volunteered to be focal points. As representative of the participants, the prosecutor Mrs. Ndozomo requested for an extension of the NPS and opioids trainings to the magistrates.

In parallel of this workshop, the Regional Technical Officer (RTO) of the GRIDS programme also met with the Secretary General of the Police, the Directorates of Customs and the Cameroonian public postal service.

These senior authorities discovered with interest the GRIDS programme and its approach. They agreed in principle to participate in it and promised to nominate focal points and to share the recent statistics of NPS seizures by their respective services. They also requested for trainings and drug tests for these new substances.

The Board's Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme and Project ION and OPIOIDS Project support Governments' capacity to respond to changing trafficking, illicit manufacture, marketing and sales of NPS, non-medical synthetic opioids and fentanyl-related substances by providing real-time communication, facilitating information exchange and intelligence development that interdict distribution of dangerous substances.

The participation of the GRIDS programme to the event was made possible through UNODC Nigeria and thanks to the generous support of the Government of the United States of America.