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04 June 2014

Boosting legal capacity to tackle illicit trade and counterfeiting focus of INTERPOL seminar in Paraguay

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay - Encouraging stronger policies to support enhanced coordination between prosecutors and law enforcement in combating illicit trade and counterfeiting is the focus of an INTERPOL Legal Capacity Building Seminar in Paraguay.

Hosted by INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs and Paraguay’s Prosecutor’s Office, the five-day (2 - 6 June) seminar is part of the world’s police body’s efforts to assist member countries in tackling specific issues in relation to these types of crime from a legal perspective.

It brings together some 40 Paraguayan prosecutors, law enforcement officials and policy makers, with expert input from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC), CITES Secretariat, US Department of Justice, Italian Ministry of Justice, Spanish Judicial Police and the Organization of American States (OAS).

In addition to presentations on international legal frameworks, the seminar includes case studies and analysis of best practices for investigators and prosecutors, with particular focus on those crime types identified as key challenges for the region, such as the illicit trade in endangered species of flora and fauna and trafficking in arms and tobacco.

“Countering illicit trade and counterfeiting requires a comprehensive approach which includes identifying and using a whole range of international legal instruments in a coordinated and creative manner,” said INTERPOL’s Senior Legal Counsel Stefano Betti.

To identify areas for future cooperation, meetings with Paraguay’s General Prosecutor, senior officials from Paraguay’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, were held on the sidelines of the seminar.

An online discussion platform for member countries and legal practitioners, coordinated by INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs, will enhance collaboration through regular information exchange on legal developments and specific issues related to illicit trade.

Paraguay was one of the 10 countries which took part in INTERPOL’s operation Jupiter VI in April this year, which saw more than 600 raids carried out across South America leading to the seizure of fake goods worth some USD 27.4 million, with nearly 800 people placed under investigation.

The operation was carried out under INTERPOL’s Turn Back Crime campaign which aims to educate society about the way in which crime affects our daily lives and to empower the public to make informed choices about the products they buy or the way they use the Internet.