ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire - Using INTERPOL’s firearms investigation capabilities to track and identify criminals is the focus of a series of training activities for law enforcement across West and North Africa.
INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for West Africa in Abidjan hosted a two-day (25 and 26 July) course for some 20 officers from nine countries: Algeria; Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.
Participants were trained in using the INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS), which assists information exchange and cooperation between law enforcement to:
- Link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation;
- Identify potential firearm traffickers;
- Detect firearm crime trends;
- Support targeted intelligence-led police operations aimed at curbing the firearms supply to terrorist networks and violent individuals.
In addition to developing expertise, the training also aimed at encouraging greater regional cooperation between law enforcement agencies and raising awareness amongst prosecutors.
Following the training, officers from INTERPOL’s Firearms programme met with officials of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW) in Côte d’Ivoire to outline INTERPOL’s capabilities and identify areas for collaboration and expansion of access to iARMS.