Organized crime groups in West Africa have developed large-scale trafficking activities and have been identified among the most prominent actors importing Asian heroin into the US and Europe.
In recent years, West African drug trafficking organizations have increasingly diversified into other forms of criminal activities, such as theft and distribution of stolen property, smuggling of contraband goods and counterfeited credit cards, money laundering and trafficking in women and children.
This project addresses the phenomenon of organized crime groups active in selected countries of the West African region (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone) and their transnational dimension. The analysis of the information and data on these groups will also provide a sound basis for the identification of the most appropriate control measures to combat and prevent organized crime.
Central Asia is located between Afghanistan, the largest producer of heroin, and the markets of Russia and Western Europe. It is estimated that 65 per cent of opiates cultivated in Afghanistan pass through the borders of this region, making it one of the world's most important drug smuggling routes. The increase in drug trafficking, combined with the presence of religious extremists and the smuggling of firearms and explosives has created the potential for instability in Central Asia.
Organized crime networks are involved in trafficking drugs, human beings, firearms and explosives, smuggling precious materials, such as gold and aluminum, and money laundering.
UNODC's project aims to collect qualitative and quantitative information on the most prominent organized crime groups operating within the region, the illegal markets in which they operate and the counter-measures adopted by governments in order to better cope with the phenomenon.