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07 June 2016

Border management focus of INTERPOL training in West Africa

COTONOU, Benin – A further 44 law enforcement officers from eight countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo - have undergone training as part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Project to Foster Stability in West Africa.

The two-week (23 May – 3 June) course was the second in a series of training courses aimed at enhancing interagency collaboration and countering transborder crime across the region.

Law enforcement officers from immigration, customs, gendarmerie, specialized units and INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) working at key land borders and airports took part in training sessions on INTERPOL’s policing capabilities, document fraud, bulk cash smuggling drug trafficking and ways to detect migrant smuggling, conduct risk profiling and respond to the increasing terrorism threat in the region.

Practical exercises were also conducted including how to identify stolen motor vehicles.

The opening ceremony was attended by Didier Atchou, Director of the Benin National Police, Mr von den Driesch, German Ambassador to the Republic of Benin and Balla Traore, Head of INTERPOL Regional Bureau for West Africa.

Mr Atchou highlighted the numerous challenges confronted by West African law enforcement in combatting various forms of transnational organized crime, and applauded INTERPOL’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of front line officers in combating migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Experts from a broad range of specialized agencies contributed to the delivery of the training including the Ghanaian Police’s Human Trafficking Unit, Ghana Immigration service, Togo Gendarmerie service, FormaTrain Network, the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Inter-Governmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) as well as France’s Anti-Terrorism Sub Directorate (SDAT).