Iraq: Ministry of Interior and UNODC join forces to tackle transnational drug trafficking and criminal networks

19th April 2021 - Cairo, Egypt 
Drug trafficking is a transnational crime that challenges countries across the world. UNODC, in collaboration with the Government of Iraq and the French Embassy in Iraq, organized a 3-day roundtable discussions meeting within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Capacities of Iraqi law enforcement and criminal investigation services” which is funded by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
The project aims to initiate a comprehensive capacity-building approach for Iraqi law enforcement agencies and forensic entities to enable the country to counter the growing challenges posed by organized criminal groups, illicit trafficking, and the links between organized crime and the financing of terrorism.


This aim will be fulfilled by:

  • Developing a joint strategy on enhancing the capacities of the relevant Iraqi law enforcement agencies to counter illicit cross-border drug trafficking;
  • Providing tailored-made capacity building activities and tactical and operational equipment to the Iraqi authorities to conduct complex investigations and “go beyond seizures”; and
  • Strengthening the international and regional cooperation mechanisms tackling security threats related to cross-border drug trafficking

The meeting was attended by the Heads of the Iraqi Anti-Narcotic Directorate, Anti-Crime Directorate and Forensics Directorate, the Iraqi International Cooperation Directorate representing different regions across Iraq as well as the Police Attaché from the French Embassy in Iraq and the Regional Representative of the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States Embassy in Cyprus.

During the discussions, Heads of Iraqi Directorates provided presentations on the organizational structure of the concerned directorates, mandates, roles and responsibilities, human resources as well as the critical needs required to enhance the Iraqi authorities' abilities to counter transnational trafficking, notably drug trafficking. 

These discussions among many between UNODC and each respective Directorate resulted in the drafting, review and agreement on a joint capacity-building work plan. UNODC and the Head of the Iraqi Delegation signed minutes of meeting with the enclosed work plans which will be paving the way for the implementation of different project components starting June 2021 including joint operational trainings as well as the identification of tactical and operational equipment.

For more information:

Iraq: International cooperation a means to halt transnational drug trafficking and criminal networks

International cooperation in criminal matters

Legal framework for drug trafficking

World Drug Report 2020

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