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22 mayo 2015

INTERPOL training in Ghana aims to strengthen regional police capacity in border management

ACCRA, Ghana – Law enforcement officers from across West Africa have received specialized training as part of an INTERPOL programme aimed at building policing capacity to strengthen border management.

The two-week course (11 – 22 May) at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra brought together 22 law enforcement officers from immigration, customs and INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.

Participants were trained in the use of INTERPOL’s tools and services at borders in addition to learning ways to detect migrant smuggling, document fraud, bulk cash smuggling and drug trafficking.

The course, which is part of the two-year INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme to Strengthen Border Management in West Africa jointly funded with the Canadian government, also covered counter-terrorism efforts, money laundering and risk profiling.

Practical exercises were conducted at Ghanaian Immigration’s Document Fraud Expertise Center (DFEC) and Accra’s Kotoka International Airport.

The opening ceremony was attended by Christopher Thornley, High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone, INTERPOL’s Director of Capacity Building and Training, Dale Sheehan, Head of NCB Accra, Owusu Donyinah and KAIPTC Commandant, Major General Obed Boed Boamah Akwa.

High Commissioner Thornley highlighted the particular challenges confronted by West Africa law enforcement in combatting transnational organised crime, saying ‘these training courses help to sow the seeds for sustained professional networks, which yield high value results.’

Mr Sheehan underlined the importance of cross agency cooperation to more effectively combat the increasingly interconnected nature of transnational crime.

“A range of crime types can be linked by a single incident – for example stolen motor vehicles can be used to traffic all manner of illicit goods, including drugs, firearms, or even human beings,” said Mr Sheehan. “Effective cooperation with international counterparts through strong sustainable networks is crucial in securing borders.”

To encourage greater cross agency collaboration, training was also provided by the US Customs and Border Protection, the World Customs Organization’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office in Senegal, the Ghanaian Police’s Human Trafficking Unit, the Canada Border Services Agency’s West Africa Liaison Office, the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the International Organisation for Migration.