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22 September 2016

Global drug trafficking through Africa focus of operational INTERPOL meeting

LYON, France ‒ Investigating transnational drug trafficking through Africa was the focus of INTERPOL’s third annual Interflow working group meeting at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters.

With the Interflow project aimed at helping police forces detect, identify and arrest drug traffickers whose activities are linked to Africa, the two-day event (15 to 16 September) enabled investigators from 27 countries to share investigative leads in a secure environment and review global drug trafficking flows into and across Africa.

High on the agenda was the increase in heroin trafficking and methamphetamine production and smuggling across Africa.  Both emerging drug crime trends were highlighted in the 2015 INTERPOL Analytical Intelligence Report, which was presented to investigators at the meeting.

Organized by INTERPOL’s Criminal Organizations and Drugs Sub-Directorate, the meeting served to demonstrate how African drug trafficking and its links to other global crimes can be tackled through a coordinated response combining INTERPOL’s global policing network, infrastructure and capabilities with the expertise of law enforcement across Africa.

“No country can address its domestic drug situation from a national perspective alone,” said Halidu Illo, INTERPOL’s Interflow Project Manager. “Operational meetings of this kind are an exclusive opportunity for investigators to reach out to neighbouring, regional and international partners, obtain the precious intelligence they need to successfully address the drug scene in their own countries, and to streamline global efforts in identifying suspected couriers,” added Mr Illo.

Participating countries at the meeting included Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cape Verde, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Hong Kong (China), India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Togo and the United Kingdom.  Observers included UNODC, Pompidou Group - Council of Europe, Europol, the Central Asia Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC).