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First regional workshop bringing Customs and Police together to combat wildlife crime

06 septiembre 2018

Under the auspices of the Environment Programme’s INAMA Project, an Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Regional Customs – Police Enforcement Workshop for English speaking African countries was conducted in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania from 20 to 30 August 2018.

The Workshop was attended by 12 Customs officers in the first week, with 6 police officers and an INTERPOL representative who joined the group for the second week.

Customs – police cooperation is important in the fight against IWT as Customs seizures of illegal wildlife need to be followed through by investigations and prosecutions in order to ensure criminal networks are dismantled. 

During the Workshop, the WCO Environment Programme received close support from the WCO COPES Programme, where trainers with specific expertise delivered parts of the training. The COPES Programme has also assisted the INAMA Project during previous IWT training sessions.

Various aspects were covered during the Workshop, such as criminal investigation techniques, local legislation, questioning, note taking, retaining the chain of custody, admissibility of evidence, prosecutions etc., risk management, evaluation of the current IWT risk situation in the region, technical CITES Convention training, and Police / Customs joint enforcement operations.

Customs and Police officers from Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda were in attendance. The Workshop will also feed into an IWT Enforcement Operation planned for the first part of 2019.

A similar Workshop is planned for French speaking beneficiary countries later on in 2018.