CRIMJUST and the Global Programme on Cybercrime develop series of trainings on "Cyber Elements of Drug Trafficking"

22 - 25 March 2021 - The EU-funded CRIMJUST Global Programme in partnership with UNODC’s Global Programme on Cybercrime jointly implemented an online regional training for 21 investigators and 9 prosecutors from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana on “Cyber Elements of Drug Trafficking” to enhance criminal justice practitioners’ capacities to carry out online investigations and to prevent cyber-enabled drug trafficking crimes.

Ms. Andreea Schmidt, Programme Manager of European Union’s Global Illicit Flows Programme, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative in Nigeria and Mr. Shadrach Haruna, Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Secretary, inaugurated this training recalling the unique challenges facing law enforcement officials and prosecutors in detecting and prosecuting cyber-enabled drug trafficking crimes. Not only are organized crime groups increasingly capitalizing on online tools’ functionalities, such as anonymisation, encryption and virtual currencies, to facilitate online drug transactions undetected, but the transnational nature of online platforms challenges traditional notions of jurisdictions. As such, cooperation between criminal justice agencies is critical to exchange technical and legal expertise, to discuss observed current and emerging online modus operandi and to share digital evidence across borders.

During the training, UNODC experts sought to demonstrate the added value of cyber investigations as a critical and integral technique of contemporary criminal investigations to disrupt organized crime groups. Experts provided an overview of concepts and practices pertaining to digital investigations, such as digital evidence, chain of custody for online sources and monitoring drug-related forums. These sessions were followed by practical exercises, an introduction to investigating the dark web and the use of cryptocurrencies by organized crime groups as well as human rights considerations when carrying out digital investigations.

This training joins broader efforts by the CRIMJUST Global Programme to support criminal justice agencies develop and implement effective investigative capacities and techniques to respond to current and emerging drug trafficking trends. Indeed, rising accessibility, sophistication and interconnectivity of online tools and platforms across calls upon investigators and prosecutors to develop a strong understanding of cyber-enabled crimes and expertise to perform online investigations. Moreover, this training answers to Article 29 of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational and Organised Crime (UNTOC), which demands criminal justice officials be trained in relation to a range of skills, including “methods used in combating transnational organized crime committed through the use of computers, telecommunications networks or other forms of modern technology.” 

This training will be replicated another four times during 2021 in Spanish, Portuguese and French to the following CRIMJUST supported countries: Panama, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Morocco, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, Brazil and Guinea Bissau, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

 This CRIMJUST activity was funded by the European Union under the framework of the "Global Illicit Flows Programme" [GIFP]). It seeks to enhance law enforcement and judicial counter-narcotic strategies beyond interdiction activities and to foster transnational responses targeting each stage of the drug supply chain.

For more information, please visit:

-  European Union