Training on Investigation, Prosecution and International Cooperation in Counter Narcotics

Islamabad, 21 - 25 August 2017 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 Embassy of Japan, concluded at the Ramada Hotel, Islamabad. 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. 18 special prosecutors and investigators of Anti Narcotics Force (Rawalpindi & KP) and Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the training. 

In his opening remarks Mr. Naweed Riaz, International Law Enforcement Advisor UNODC, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of UNODC's global mandates, including the countering of transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking. He noted the importance of the current training in the context of UNODC's Country Programme for Pakistan 

Mr. Riaz specially thanked the Government of Pakistan (GoP) for its continued cooperation; and greatly appreciated GoP 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. Concluding his welcome address, he assured the attendees that UNODC would continue organizing similar training workshops for law enforcement agencies on the issue of drugs and precursors trafficking and on other serious transnational organized crimes. 

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. 

UNODC in Pakistan is helping to improve the sustainable capacity building of Law Enforcement Agencies by focusing on providing high-quality training and supportive technical equipment. 

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. Senior member of Supreme Court bar, Syed Tayyab Shah delivered a guest lecture where he focused on importance of evidence in criminal prosecutions and conducted an astute question and answer session through which the trainees were able to identify and resolve theoretical and pragmatic problems in narcotics cases.

On behalf of Mr. Cesar Guedes, certificates were distributed to the participants on conclusion of training by Ms. Anila Rahim, Programme Officer.This achievement has been made possible by the generous support of the Government of Japan.