Mauritania seizes drugs shortly after receiving UNODC assistance on countering drug trafficking
On Monday 1 st October 2018, the Central Office for the Fight Against Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of the Mauritanian police seized 3.5 kilograms of cannabis resin, following a training activity organized by UNODC on countering international drug trafficking. Police officers tipped off conducted a search and found two parcels of cannabis resin buried in the ground.
The UNODC training workshop on drugs identification and detection was conducted from 24 to 28 September 2018, and gathered 22 participants from the antinarcotics service (including those who seized the cannabis resin), forensics, gendarmerie and the security cooperation platform ( Plateforme de Coopération en Matière de Sécurité - PCMS). During the workshop, participants carried out a search exercise in a hotel room, after following a theoretical course on search methodology. They also wrote a police report with the assistance of the two trainers.
This activity strengthened participants' knowledge on the identification of precursors, clandestine laboratories and means of dissimulation as well as recalling the methodology of inspection, management of informants and interrogation techniques. Lastly, drug tests were also conducted on drugs from previous seizures.
This activity was the last in a series of national training workshops on the fight against international drug trafficking organized in G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger) between August and September 2018. They brought together specialized investigating officers on the fight against drugs from Police, Gendarmerie, and Customs, as well as members of the PCMS and Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF). A total of 85 participants (including18 women) took part in these training workshops.
These workshops fostered information exchange between investigators and members of the PCMS and allowed them to received training in a harmonized manner, including with the same techniques, in order to facilitate cooperation during cross-border joint investigations, as planned under the PCMS agreement.
These training workshops were carried out in the framework of UNODC's Support Plan to the PCMS of the G5 Sahel, submitted to the Permanent Secretariat in January 2017. To combat terrorism and transnational organized crime, G5 Sahel countries have set up a police cooperation mechanism, the Security Cooperation Platform (PCMS). This platform has national antennas in each G5 Sahel capital cities and aims to facilitate information exchange between security services of G5 States.
This UNODC Support Plan is implemented by the Sahel Programme, which supports the development of accessible, efficient and accountable criminal justice systems to combat drug trafficking, illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism and corruption. UNODC liaises closely with the European Union, Interpol and the German cooperation agency (GIZ) in the implementation of this Support Plan.