Regional intelligence coordination against illegal drugs trade has been bolstered by a UK-funded and run two day workshop in Seychelles.
Anti-narcotics officers from across the southern and eastern Africa region were joined by officers from the UK’s National Crime Agency - the body which leads the UK’s fight against serious and organised crime - and spent two days at the Eden Bleu Hotel broadening their understanding of the regional illegal drug trade and developing strategies for intelligence sharing to counter the threat.
Workshop participants came from 18 countries, including Seychelles’ law enforcement agencies. Participants focused on how they could work better as a region, share intelligence and information, and together combat criminals involved in the narcotics trade who operate across national boundaries.
The workshop was officially opened by the Acting British High Commissioner, Mr Dave Jones, who urged the delegates to use the workshop to build strong, resilient and constructive relationships.
“It is important to recognise that, not only will your interactions build the region’s capacity in counter narcotics work, but also that the very fact that this meeting is taking place sends a powerful message to those who would seek to exploit this region as a drugs shipment and sales point.”
“Your presence tells them that this region is not, and will not be, a weak link in the fight against transnational organised crime. It sends the message that the illegal narcotics trade is intolerable, not just in your home countries, but across the region. And it says to the unscrupulous, to the morally bankrupt, to those who traffic in human misery, that, in this region, a strong and unbroken net is closing in upon them.”
The Acting High Commissioner encouraged the delegates to learn lessons from the successful regional approach taken against piracy.