5 - 8 December 2022 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, under the framework of CRIMJUST – “Criminal Network Disruption Global Programme”, in association with INTERPOL, held, between 5 and 8 December, a broad and in-depth training on the investigation and prosecution of transnational drug trafficking cases. The training was delivered to 26 participating investigators and prosecutors from 6 South American states, primarily in the southern cone, namely: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru. This event follows on the footsteps of a previous UNODC/CRIMJUST – INTERPOL joint training, held on 20-23 June 2022, delivered to 24 investigators and prosecutors from The Gambia, Nigeria and Ghana.
In a scenario where societies grown in digital and technological complexity, the benefits extracted from such developments are also taken advantage by actors that possess criminal intent. Investigative and prosecutorial authorities, in turn, have developed a need to counter this trend, by acquiring the necessary practical toolkits of know how in order to effectively conduct transnational financial investigations in order to keep up with the fast changing modus operandi of transnational organised crime groups.
To that end, under the framework of CRIMJUST, UNODC and INTERPOL strengthens the capacities of South American police and prosecutorial authorities in order to tackle these new challenging and fast developing trends, strengthening institutional resilience throughout the region.
Opening remarks were made by Diego Quintero, CRIMJUST Regional Coordinator who highlighted the benefits of t how trainings such as these can empower local investigative authorities to tackle the aforementioned new tactics employed by drug trafficking related organised crime groups.
During the training, the first session brought in presentations on the overall theme of money laundering and typologies related to drugs trafficking, presenting the benefits of conducting financial investigations in parallel to traditional investigations, the most prevalent modus operandi used to launder criminal proceeds from drug trafficking. The agenda also included specialized sessions on the sources and analyses of financial information, including OSINT, as well as a detailed analysis of AIAMPM’s Investigative Guide against Money Laundering of Organised Crime Groups, followed by an overview of the new data protection framework for money laundering related transnational investigations and the use of INTERPOL policing capabilities in tackling financial investigations.
Discussions among participants focused on the general framework on international cooperation pertaining to laundered assets as well as more specific modalities of international cooperation. The final sessions covered investigative methods with country presentations from all the participating countries, including case analysis and practical way forward, ending by bi-lateral and multi-lateral meetings regarding specific cases or areas of cooperating between participating countries.
As a result of this training, participants learnt how to better track assets and analyse financial data during drug trafficking related investigations benefiting of the training’s focus on the importance of obtaining reliable and admissible evidence, nationally and internationally, given the transnational nature of illicit flows.
CRIMJUST is funded by the European Union and by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). 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.
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