Project Compass

Improved investigations of maritime-based crimes in the East and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.

Project Compass

Timeframe: 2020-2023

Budget: USD 3.5 million

Donor: United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)


Trafficking, piracy and other maritime crimes remain a threat to peace and stability across the East Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region.

In addition to the security implications, these illicit activities damage the socio-economic and political conditions in the region.

A collaborative and multilateral approach, bringing together regional governments and international organizations, is needed in order to combat these threats.

About the Project

The overall goal of Project Compass is to improve investigations into maritime-based crimes in the EA-SA-IO region. The project will focus on Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania.

The project’s three objectives are to improve:

  • crime scene preservation and management capabilities;
  • interagency cooperation between the first responders, investigators, and justice sector officials in complex, maritime based crime cases;
  • regional and international cooperation.

Project activities

The Project will deliver the following activities to support the objectives:


  • An introduction to the international methodologies of crime scene preservation and management.
  • Intelligence analysis techniques that will assist beneficiary countries to expand the focus of their investigations and prosecutions beyond the frontline perpetrators attacking the vessels at sea, to the organizers and financiers on land.

Mock crime scenes and trials:

  • INTERPOL experts create scenarios, based on real cases that occurred in the region, and provide “evidence” for first responders, law enforcement officials and prosecutors to practise the application of the law.

Exchange visits and case coordination meetings:

  • Officials from beneficiary countries work side by side with their colleagues in other countries and discuss cases of common interest or concern.

These activities will contribute to building national and regional networks of experts who are better equipped to exchange maritime-related information and to conduct successful maritime crime investigations and prosecutions.

Project updates

November-December 2021
Training in Mauritius

Two training courses – one on crime scene investigation and one on instructor development – were delivered jointly by Projects AGWE and Compass in Mauritius, with support from the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Mauritian authorities. These courses will reinforce first response efforts and information sharing among countries in the East and West Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.