UNODC supports Senegalese law enforcement agencies fighting transnational organized crime

This activity was financed by Germany

In March 2017, law enforcement officials from The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, as well as UNODC and INTERPOL, met in Dakar, Senegal, for a sub-regional consultation aimed at exploring common strategies to combat organized crime, including through joint operations and simulation exercises.

Since November 2017, UNODC has been implementing the recommendations of this conference through the " Project to strengthen national capacity for the detection and investigation of cross-border crime between The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal", fully funded by Germany. This project represents a unique opportunity to promote strong sub-regional strategies and to strengthen cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies from these three countries, in order to provide an effective response to transnational organized crime in West Africa. This project also aims at constituting sustainable operational good practices and techniques in the fight against criminal networks.

Within this framework and following the similar training courses organized in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, UNODC conducted a national training workshop on detection and profiling techniques against transnational organized crime from 16 to 27 July 2018 in Dakar, Senegal.

Picture of the participants during the workshop

In order to support harmonized cross-border capacities in this area, the training brought together 20 participants, including 3 women, from the Central Office for the Suppression of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Substances, the Senegalese Customs, and the Air and Border Police, from law enforcement units deployed both in the capital and at border locations.

During the opening ceremony, Ms. Chantal Lacroix, UNODC Deputy Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, explained that the three entities have " a knowledge of the specificities and needs of the country that is not only valuable but also indispensable to better respond to the polymorphous challenges posed by transnational organized crime to law enforcement efforts. " She also recalled that UNODC is counting on their valuable collaboration " to develop together the next steps of this promising project".

For two weeks, experienced trainers from the French Judicial Police and Senegalese Customs alternated between theoretical courses and practical exercises so that participants could acquire precise knowledge on narcotics, proactive investigation techniques (targeting, detection interrogation) and airport crime interdiction.

Participants using drug detection test
                      Participants during search exercise

Practical sessions focused on the recognition of different types of drugs, as well as the use and reading of drug detection tests. A search exercise displayed good practices related to conduct searches of suspicious persons and places, particularly in the context of drug trafficking networks (intelligence gathering, ensuring the security of investigators). Additionally, a surveillance and tailing exercise carried out with several vehicles and radios in the streets of Dakar highlighted the importance of team work the needs to reinforce the technical skills of the participants.

This activity is part of the UNODC Regional Program for West and Central Africa (2016-2020) and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 16 "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions". This initiative aims, among other things, to promote a proactive approach to investigations by developing intelligence-led law enforcement capacities and improving inter-agency coordination.

For more information:

UNODC Regional Program for West Africa (2016-2020)

UNODC strengthens efforts to detect and investigate transnational organized crime in Guinea-Bissau (webstory)

UNODC launches new cross-border initiative between The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal (webstory)