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EAC and INTERPOL set to curb Human and Drug Trafficking

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 24th April 2018 05:15 PM

Several factors have been identified as hindrances to the effective implementation of Anti-Drug and Human Trafficking control measures

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Several factors have been identified as hindrances to the effective implementation of Anti-Drug and Human Trafficking control measures

The East African Community and INTERPOL have organised a seven-day joint training workshop on Countering Human and Drug Trafficking in the EAC region.

The main purpose of the training currently underway in Zanzibar, Tanzania is to increase knowledge of investigators involved in curbing the two Transnational Organised Crimes (TNOCs) in the region, according to information availed by the EAC Secretariat.

Participants will share experiences on policy and best practices in partner states on control of Human and Drug trafficking. The training is also meant to contribute towards enhancing efficiency of investigators through documenting the changing dynamics in drug and human trafficking in the region.

It will identify constraints to the implementation of Anti-Drug/Narcotics and Human Trafficking control measures and draw practical strategies on the way forward.

Several factors have been identified as hindrances to the effective implementation of Anti-Drug and Human Trafficking control measures, namely weak border security, corruption, weak laws and criminal justice systems to address such crimes, limited resources, limited anti-trafficking experience, as well as limited inter-agency cooperation, among others.

The April, 23 to 28  training has been convened in an effort to respond to several identified investigative gaps and challenges within the two transnational crime areas for purposes of convergence and harmonisation of practices through training.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Charles Njoroge, said that the EAC was determined to develop strategies that will better facilitate efforts towards countering the two crimes taking into full consideration the changes in the dynamics of the crimes, reflecting a gender dimension in the region and the African continent as a whole.

“Today more women from the region are trafficked than men. Drug barons have also targeted unsuspecting women to be carriers and transporters of narcotic drugs. In some cases, the two crimes are committed jointly and concurrently, whereby the very women transporting narcotic drugs are at the same time being trafficked,”  Njoroge noted.

In addition to the two crimes, the EAC is investing in addressing Terrorism, which has continued to affect the region. To this end, the EAC has established the Inter-religious Council, composed of representatives from different Faiths, whose mandate is to address the radicalisation of youth in the region and their eventual recruitment into Transnational Crime Organisations operating within the region and beyond.

It is also anticipated that the efforts to address TNOCs will also result in the mitigation an emerging threat in the EAC region - trafficking of illicit goods such as alcoholic beverages, foods and pharmaceuticals. These crimes include the production of the counterfeit products (counterfeiting) in the region, the sale of expired goods as well as the smuggling and use of the region as a transit corridor for such goods.

The training involves lectures, group assignments, participatory discussions, presentations, brainstorming and benchmark visits to key Government Anti-Human and Anti-Drug Trafficking Centres including a visit to the International Airport and landing sites in Zanzibar where applicable, as a field trip on systems and procedures pertaining to detection, investigation, and ultimate arrest and prosecution of the two suspects in the two TNOCs.

It is also anticipated that the efforts to address TNOCs will also result in the mitigation an emerging threat in the EAC region - trafficking of illicit goods such as alcoholic beverages, foods and pharmaceuticals. These crimes include the production of the counterfeit products (counterfeiting) in the region, the sale of expired goods as well as the smuggling and use of the region as a transit corridor for such goods.

The training involves lectures, group assignments, participatory discussions, presentations, brainstorming and benchmark visits to key Government Anti-Human and Anti-Drug Trafficking Centres including a visit to the International Airport and landing sites in Zanzibar where applicable, as a field trip on systems and procedures pertaining to detection, investigation, and ultimate arrest and prosecution of the two suspects in the two TNOCs.

 

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