UNODC supports the XXIII anniversary of the Judicial Police of Cape Verde 

Dakar, 12 May, 2016- On 12 May 2016, UNODC was invited to participate in the conference '' Transnational organized crime, terrorism and drug trafficking: Actual situation and challenges of Cape Verde" that was organized in the framework of the 23rd anniversary of the Cape Verdean Judicial Police. During the conference UNODC delivered a presentation regarding the actual (inter)national context regarding drug trafficking and its impact on Cape Verde.

Based on the situation analysis and the responses provided during the conference debate, the important work national authorities have been doing to counter drug trafficking and organized crime was duly acknowledged. Country level interventions yielded successful results at the operational level, as evidenced by the high quantity of drug seizures and the related investigation, prosecution and conviction of a significant number of suspects, subject to effective prison penalties and asset recovery.

UNODC experts and panelists during the conference

However, some persisting challenges were identified. Cape Verde's strategic geographical location, half way between Latin America and Europe, justifies, along with a number of other factors, the archipelago's current profile of a transit and storage country for international cocaine drug trafficking. Other inter-connected forms of transnational organized crime are also taking advantage of the country's vulnerable profile.

Nevertheless, in recent years the Government of Cape Verde and criminal justice institutions have been able to achieve operational results. The conviction of a few dozens of criminals for drug trafficking, money-laundering and criminal association are clear indicators of the challenges faced by the country and the national efforts to solve these.

To contribute to the new government's initiative to step up actions to counter organize crime, UNODC met with key stakeholders (national and international partners) and reiterated its commitment to continue technical cooperation with the newly-formed government, and provide avenues for consultations and exchanges of best practices regarding the most effective way to address national priorities.

During the visit, the UNODC delegation met with several government officials, including the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice. At the technical and operational level, the delegation met the National Director of the Judicial Police and the National Director of the National Police.

The delegation reaffirmed the commitment of UNODC to continue and strengthen its support to Cape Verde's efforts to counter organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism. The UNODC field office in Cape Verde is present in the country since 2006 and is developing strategies to consolidate the country's institutional capacity and provide the required technical assistance alongside national authorities, within the framework of mandate of UNODC.

As a follow-up to the mission, UNODC will work, jointly with national authorities, on a comprehensive short and midterm response to mitigate the risks and threats Cape Verde has identified in the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism.

For more information:

UNODC action against drug trafficking in West Africa

West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI)

Support Project to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking in West Africa