19-22 June 2017 the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) (https://www.unodc.org/westandcentralafrica/en/newrosenwebsite/TOC/container-control-programme.html) delivered a training course in Ghana on fisheries crime. The participants represented the CCP Port Control Unit in Tema, the Fisheries Commission and Tema Port and Harbour Authority.
The training programme, which was launched in Bangladesh in March 2017 (https://www.unodc.org/southasia//frontpage/2017/May/bangladesh_-training-fosters-inter-agency-cooperation-to-tackle-fisheries-crime.html), enhances the operational skills of law enforcement officers fight fisheries crime. Furthermore, by bringing the CCP Port Control Units, customs, police, fisheries departments and other law enforcement agencies as well as the private sector together, cooperation between these agencies is strengthened, fostering a comprehensive approach to fight this type of crime.
The participants engaged in topics such as international and national legal frameworks, monitoring, control and surveillance related to fisheries crime, methods and impact of fishery crime, links to other forms of international crime, corruption, gender, human rights and secured communication tools. A half-day study visit to the fishing port in Tema was also organised, giving the law enforcement officers an insight to everyday work in this port.
The training benefitted from the participation of an external expert provided by the Norwegian customs. The expert shared lessons learned based on his experience and also presented the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group (Na-Fig).
Considering that national and international cooperation is crucial in fighting illicit activities, CCP’s fisheries crime component covers 13 countries in West Africa, East Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. This component is financed by the Government of Norway, through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
At present, the CCP is operational in 43 countries and has initiated activities in 11 more. Since its inception in 2004, CCP has established more than 65 Port Control Units consisting of customs and other law enforcement agencies, leading to significant seizures of forest, wildlife and environmental crime proceeds, drugs, precursor chemicals, strategic goods, falsified medicines, cigarettes, intellectual property rights/counterfeit goods and weapons.
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