UNODC and MINUSMA deliver training on techniques against international drug trafficking in Mali


Dakar, 1st July 2016,- In the mid 2000s, Africa has become a transit area to Europe for international drug trafficking, especially, cannabis resin from the Moroccan Rif and cocaine from Latin America. The emergence of new synthetic drug, which are also produced locally, such as methamphetamine is an additional cause of concern to stakeholders in the fight against drugs.

The actors of underground criminal networks adapt to law enforcement and the chaos of the armed conflict in the region has provided a fertile ground for their activities. Salafist terrorism and trafficking in the Sahel-Saharan region are now intertwined elements.

To fight against these threats, UNODC regional office, in collaboration with MINUSMA, has organized from 20 June to 1 July in Bamako, Mali, a training workshop on " investigative techniques against international drug trafficking".

Group photo of the participants to the Ecowas Project Training held in Mali (20 june-1st july). ©UNODC/2016
Group photo of the participants to the Ecowas Project Training held in Mali (20 june-1st july). ©UNODC/2016

This training was conducted as part of the project funded by the European Union (Abuja Office) entitled "Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa" executed by UNODC in collaboration with members states of ECOWAS.

Addressing to participants, representatives of the European Union in Mali, MINUSMA, UNODC and Government appreciated the importance of this training in the current context of insecurity. They focused on the desire to provide a coordinated response to security challenges related to international drug trafficking.

The training brought together 18 professionals from both units dedicated to the fight against international drug trafficking in Mali: The Drugs Central Office (DCO), with an international vocation, and the Bamako Drug Brigade, with a national competence.

The purpose of this high-value training was to enable successful investigation, drug seizures and drug trafficker interpellations. It was also to strengthen the operational capacities of the Malian anti-drug units for providing a fast and efficient judicial and operational response. Both units will then have to work in the most harmonious way for a greater efficiency in the field.

Three experienced trainers have strengthened the capacities of participants in the drugs identification, collection of criminal intelligence and its use in criminal proceedings, the use of telephone and information technologies, proactive investigation and the drafting of the minutes among other aspects. Practical exercises put participants to the test.

Malian Police Officers during a training session in Bamako © UNODC/2016
Malian Police Officers during a training session in Bamako © UNODC/2016

UNODC has provided technical assistance to West African States for 20 years, through its Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN) based in Dakar, Senegal, along with the 10 other local offices in different countries of the region. Custodian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols, as well as the three conventions on International drug control, UNODC is mandated to assist all Member States to strengthen their national responses in conformity with international norms and standards.

*A trainer specialised in techniques to fight against international drug trafficking was hired thanks for the contribution from Denmark.