UNODC Global Firearms Programme Advanced practical course on the use, collection and analysis of intelligence in the investigation of firearms trafficking in Niger
From 26 to 29 July 2021, in the framework of the project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Firearms Protocol”, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) delivered an advanced training on the use, collection and analysis of intelligence in the investigation of firearms trafficking and related offenses in Niger.
It gathered more than 25 representatives from various law enforcement agencies in the country as well as from the prosecution service. The advanced training focused on intelligence led policing; intelligence specific to firearms; intelligence analysis, inter alia, and it was aimed at providing practical tools that investigators and prosecutors can use in their daily functions to support firearms related cases. Seeking to promote synergies within UNODC’s work and increase the impact of the project, this training was designed to complement a course organised by GFP in May 2021 in the country, on investigation and prosecution of firearms trafficking cases and related crimes targeted at magistrates from the judicial pole and specialized chambers of the Niamey Court of Appeal and officers from the National Central Service against Terrorism and Organized Crime. Further trainings are foreseen in 2022 on related topics, including ballistics.
At the end of the activity, UNODC handed over different pieces of equipment to the National Central Service against Terrorism and Organized Crime (SCLTC/TO) in order to facilitate firearms related investigations, including IT equipment; cameras; firearms storage cabinets and evidence lockers; cases to support the transfer of evidence; evidence collection kits; inter alia. The donation came at the request of the SCLCT/TO and was made possible thanks to the support of the European Union and Denmark.
The project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Firearms Protocol” has as its overall objective to prevent and counter the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, and their links to transnational organised crime and terrorism, through the ratification and implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). The project is implemented by the Global Firearms Programme (GFP), established by the first project funded by the European Union (EU) (IFS /2010 /259-204), which builds upon five interconnected pillars, including: (1) adequate policy and legislative frameworks, (2) implementation of comprehensive firearms control and regulatory frameworks, (3) effective criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking and related crimes, (4) broad international cooperation and regular exchanges of information and expertise through communities of practitioners, and (5) enhanced knowledge and intelligence on firearms trafficking to monitor illicit trafficking flows.
The project’s outcomes aim at supporting these interconnected building blocks, and the activities programmed in order to achieve them include four outputs, namely: (1) increase awareness of the firearms issue and its international responses, and adequate policy and legislative frameworks in place, in line with relevant international and regional instruments; (2) increase capacities of countries and sub-regions to implement effective firearms control regimes in line with the Firearms Protocol and other relevant instruments, and to prevent, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related offences through effective national response and international law enforcement and judicial cooperation; (3) support effective cooperation and sharing of information and good practices among communities of firearms and organised crime/terrorism practitioners, through regular contacts and use of specialised cooperation networks and platforms and taking advantage of existing initiatives; and (4) improve capacity to monitor, analyse and identify synergies for firearms legislation and case-law with and amongst other forms of transnational organised crime, including cybercrime, money laundering, illicit drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, or terrorism, inter alia.