eLearning mobile training, targeting trainers and IT officials from the Drug
Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG), Gambia Police Force, Gambia
Immigration Department, Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, Financial Intelligence
Unit and Customs last Friday concluded at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Organized by DLEAG in partnership with UNODC, the day also witnessed the official deployment of Gambia’s United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) mobile training unit.
The project; Support to the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa, is implemented in close coordination with the ECOWAS Commission and its drug unit with financial support from the European Union.
Bakary Gassama, DLEAG Director General said over the years, it has been observed that The Gambia is a target of drug trafficking organizations who are taking advantage of the country’s strategic location to both South America and Europe as a drug trafficking route.
He said it is imperative to prepare well in terms of both human capacity and equipment to respond adequately to the illegal clandestine activities of these organizations.
“No single law enforcement agency can effectively tackle the huge financial resources and expertise at the disposal of criminal organizations, understanding the evolving nature of transnational organized crimes in the 21st century, where crimes are no longer bounded by borders.”
Mr. Gassama said good law enforcement and intelligence does not come cheap but the price of insecurity and instability is much higher.
Kamal Toure, Program Coordinator of the UNODC ZAWZ28 project commended Gambian authorities for their commitment to ensuring the continuous, adaptive capacity building of its law enforcement agencies and for their openness to embrace innovative approaches.
Josselin Amalfi, European Union representative described drug trafficking as a global problem that has become increasingly more apparent in West Africa since the early 2000, saying the region has become the hub for smuggling cocaine from South America to Europe as European and American anti-drug efforts have effectively curtailed the use of traditional smuggling routes and diverted the flows to West Africa.
“This climate of instability has created a breeding ground for organized crimes to flourish, disrupted local economies with proceeds of crime and created a significant public health problem,” he said.