30 May-1 June 2022 - In the wake of the changing panorama of cocaine production processes, UNODC under the framework of CRIMJUST delivered the 3-day technical training on cocaine production to upgrade the technical knowledge and strengthen capacities law enforcement officials and prosecutors from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica, to detect, investigate and dismantle illicit drugs laboratories.
Over the course of the three days, with the support of the Colombian Antinarcotics Police (DIRAN), the training sessions provided knowledge in relation the chemical and technical processes involved in cocaine production, which is imperative to implementing and coordinating interregional counter-narcotic strategies addressing the constant evolution of organized criminal groups.
The experts from UNODC’s "Integrated System for Monitoring Illicit Crops" (SIMCI) provided participants with an overview of the problem of illicit crops, extraction and refining of coca leaf, methodology for estimating the potential for cocaine production and the demand for associated chemical substances.
The training methodology followed an integrated hands-on approach, with participants visiting an experimental coca leaf cultivation and then observing the cocaine extraction and refining processes. Additionally, a series of sessions were held oncocaine hydrochloride conversion process and economic flows, infrastructures associated with the production of cocaine hydrochloride-complexes.
CRIMJUST trainings on cocaine production and trafficking investigations are systematically delivered inter-regionally to develop and strengthen communication channels between law enforcement officials and criminal justice practitioners from countries located along the Atlantic trafficking route. Such trainings, thus serve to not only develop expertise and share current trafficking trends observed in different regions, but to build synergies between producing, transit and consumer countries.
The technical training was followed by a Regional Investigative Case Forum to discuss current cocaine trafficking trends affecting their respective countries as well as to assess the current state of their criminal justice cooperation. During the forum, law enforcement officers and prosecutors presented relevant drug cases across the region, detailing key seizures and discussing possible follow-up actions. This forum included five technical round table sessions with Colombian Antinarcotics Police (DIRAN) to share knowledge and best practices on key trends on cyber drug trafficking, chemical substance trafficking, air trafficking, money laundering, and illicit economic 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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