EAC, Interpol in joint efforts to curb human, drug trafficking

25Apr 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
EAC, Interpol in joint efforts to curb human, drug trafficking

ZANZIBAR is hosting a seven-day EAC and INTERPOL joint training workshop on Countering Human and Drug Trafficking in the EAC region.

EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Charles Njoroge

The training which kicked off Monday is aimed at increasing knowledge of investigators involved in curbing Transnational Organised Crimes (TNOCs) in the region; share experiences on policy and best practices in Partner States on control of Human and Drug trafficking; and contribute towards enhancing efficiency of investigators through documenting the changing dynamics in drug and human trafficking in the region.

The training is also geared towards identifying 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 five day 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 harmonization of practices through training.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Charles Njoroge, said that EAC was determined to develop strategies that will better facilitate efforts towards countering the two crimes, while taking into 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,” said Njoroge.

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 radicalization of youth in the region and their eventual recruitment into Transnational Crime Organizations 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 EAC Secretariat has received funding through the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Support Programme, to undertake the above training. The training will introduce investigators to the new investigative skills, crime trends, and investigative technologies and also take stock of the existing investigative challenges as compiled from the previous benchmark visits within the EAC Region.

The Training is being organised in line with the Directive of the 3rd Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Interstate Security to respond to the identified investigative gaps and challenges within the two transnational crime areas for purposes of convergence and harmonization of practices through training in the region.