Timely intelligence sharing, operational level challenges and controlled delivery result in the arrest of criminals..

Training on Investigation, Prosecution and International Cooperation in Counter Narcotics

Karachi, 06 - 10 August 2018 A five day training course on Investigation, Prosecution and International Cooperation in Counter Narcotics organized by the UNODC Country Office Pakistan (UNODC COPAK) and sponsored by the Government of Japan, concluded at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. 

This training was one of the many deliverables under a project for 'Strengthening Border Security Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Related Transnational Organized Crime' (2016-2019) signed between the Government of Japan and UNODC in March 2016. The training was attended by 20 special prosecutors, case officers and investigators of Anti Narcotics Force and Pakistan Customs from Balochistan and Sindh provinces.  

In her opening remarks Ms. Anila Rahim, Program Officer Precursors UNODC, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of UNODC's global mandates, including the countering of transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking. Ms. Rahim specially thanked the Government of Japan for its continued support; and greatly appreciated Government of Pakistan and its law enforcement agencies for making concerted and highly commendable efforts in interdicting and seizing large amounts of illicit drugs and illegally diverted precursor chemicals destined for international markets. 

Mr. Andrew Hart and Mr. Robert McKeon, Liaison officers of National Crime Agency (NCA), UK conducted a session on different aspects of international cooperation including, money laundering, controlled delivery and Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA). Mr. Hart emphasized on the importance of timely intelligence sharing, operational level challenges and shared the examples of MLA and controlled delivery resulting in the arrest of criminals. 

On fourth day of the training, UNODC Good Will Ambassador, Mr. Shahzad Roy also had a brief talk about youth and drug use and his role as GWA in Pakistan during the ongoing training in investigation, prosecution and international cooperation.  

Barrister Shahzad Akbar who is a senior practicing criminal barrister and a former prosecutor conducted the 5 days training. The course contents composed of a highly interactive participant based training which emphasized on prosecuting sources of illicit drug trafficking. The trainer emphasized on the importance of due process in narcotics related offences and further elaborated expanding the investigation and prosecution of serious narcotics cases from possession to financing, manufacturing and drug trafficking by organized cartels, using means like international mutual cooperation between Pakistan and other foreign countries. In addition, the trainer mediated on a dialogue focused on cooperation between the investigators and prosecutors and their interdependence in the specific unit of narcotics related offences along with their problems. 

The purpose of the training was to build capacity of prosecutors especially their trial advocacy skills of narcotics cases prosecuted under the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997 (CNSA) and other relevant laws in Pakistan. The training further focused on capacity building of investigators and case officers for better and successful investigation of narcotic cases, starting from collection of evidence until successful submission in a court of law. The capacity building initiative was one of the agreed deliverables under the Japanese funded UNODC project, which is aimed at strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime. 

Special interviews of selected participants' were conducted by Ms. Rizwana Rahool, Communications Officer in order to establish a baseline so the impact/utilization of acquired skills in the training can be tracked in their daily operations after few months. 

On behalf of Mr. Cesar Guedes, certificates were distributed to the participants on conclusion of the raining. This achievement has been made possible by the generous support of the Government of Japan.