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Boosting Singapore's capacity to intercept and investigate illegal wildlife trade

Singapore (Singapore), 28 July 2017 - Singapore law enforcement authorities are demonstrating their commitment to prevent the country from being used as a transit point for wildlife trafficking, by strengthening capacity to intercept and investigate illegal wildlife shipments.

UNODC partnered with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to conduct an advanced training course on 'Controlled Delivery and Surveillance to Investigate Wildlife Trafficking' from 25-28 July, for 18 participants from AVA and Singapore Customs. It was the first capacity building cooperation with Singapore under UNODC's Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime.

The course included practical components such as on-site surveillance exercises at Changi Airport, and using under-cover techniques to demonstrate how to safely and lawfully conduct a controlled delivery.

"Singapore does not condone the illegal trade in wildlife and is determined not to be a conduit for such illegal trade. Not only does Singapore invest in intensive training of our enforcement officers to improve their ability to carry out their duties, Singapore also adopts advanced enforcement measures to keep up with the changing modus operandi of the traffickers", said Dr Anna Wong, Director of Import and Export Regulation Department, Quarantine and Inspection Group at AVA.

In recent years, Singaporean authorities have made some of the largest ivory seizures and subsequent ivory destruction in the Southeast Asia region, as part of the efforts to combat against any movement of illegal ivory from source to destination markets. The training course helped law enforcement officers to better understand the use of controlled deliveries in suitable cases of wildlife trafficking and how to secure information on the criminal networks involved.

"Singapore plays a key strategic role in the fight against wildlife trafficking. This is why it is crucial that its frontline investigators are fully prepared to adopt advanced investigative techniques in a timely and effective way" said Mr. Giovanni Broussard, Regional Coordinator of UNODC's Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. "We welcome the new engagement with Singapore, and we look forward to seeing the training translate to operational results on the ground and more collaboration opportunities."

In addition to the face-to-face training, Singapore Customs and AVA officers are also enrolled to participate in online training modules which cover various phases of the investigation of wildlife and forest crimes. The online training modules were developed in cooperation with UNODC's Global eLearning Programme.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's work on wildlife and forest crime in the region.