Port of Spain, 4-7 April 2022 – UNODC’s Firearms Trafficking Section organised in close cooperation with CARICOM IMPACS a four-days training on investigation and prosecution of firearms trafficking and related offences in Trinidad and Tobago.
The training reached 26 practitioners from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General’s Office, the Judiciary and the Strategic Services Agency.UNODC’s, international and local experts contributed to the training, providing practical skills to counter illicit firearms trafficking, including intelligence gathering, tracing procedures, special investigation techniques, joint investigation teams, international judicial cooperation, as well as the national and international legal framework on firearms. The training combined lectures with lively group discussions and practical exercises, which allowed participants to increase their knowledge on those topics, exchange their own experiences and cooperate in resolving fictional cases. One of the aims in this kind of training is precisely to encourage inter-institutional cooperation and information sharing in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking.
The training not only strengthened national capacities to investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related offences, but also contributed to build trust among national institutions and bring up new ideas on how to continue working towards reducing illicit arms flows and armed violence in the country. In Trinidad and Tobago, drug trafficking and gang-related crimes continue to fuel the demand for illicit firearms, aggravating the impact of violent crimes. Despite continued seizures of firearms in the country, most murders continue to involve firearms, highlighting the impact of the illicit proliferation and circulation. In order to effectively address this phenomenon, it is essential to pursue adequate investigations around the seized firearms, trace to their illicit origin to identify the trafficking routes and criminal networks and prosecute the responsible individuals.
The Global Firearms Programme has been supporting the work on strengthening the criminal justice capacities to reduce illicit firearms criminality in the Caribbean since 2021, in the framework of the “Roadmap for Implementing The Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030” (Caribbean Firearms Roadmap). This training was part of UNODC’s continued efforts in improving firearms trafficking investigation and prosecution in the region, and it complements other actions such as legislative support, detection of firearms trafficking, research and analysis of firearms-related data, and mainstreaming a gender and human-rights approach to the policy and operational responses, inter alia.
The training was supported by UNODC’s project funded by Germany: “Supporting the implementation of the criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”.