Meeting of the East Africa Association of Prosecutors

 

The development of international co-operation and mechanisms to exchange experiences in the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking at regional and inter-regional level is essential. There is a pressing need for a joined-up and effective approach towards tackling the criminal groups scattered across the regions in the heroin route.

The establishment of a flexible mechanism, such as an informal Network of Prosecutors specialised in the fight against drug trafficking, would become a vehicle to contribute to building trust between countries through direct contact, promoting the exchange of information and identification of best practices in the investigation and prosecution of offences, and improving at a regional level the skills of prosecutors dealing with high profile investigations involving organized crime groups.

Due to the notorious increase of heroin trafficking from Pakistan coast to East Africa through the Indian Ocean, judicial cooperation on drug trafficking investigation in the area has become a compelling need.

EU-ACT has already set up an informal network of investigators in the area and supports the organization of regular meeting among them. This has resulted in an important amount of exchange of information among them and a positive trust building exercise.

EU-ACT has also set up and supports an informal network of prosecutors in the Black Sea (BSPN), which is contributing to cooperation to fight heroin trafficking in the routes that stem from Iran to Azerbaijan and come to the EU through the countries around the Black Sea.

Following those examples, the Project is determined to support the setting up and guiding the first steps of an informal network of prosecutors in the East African & Indian Ocean region. The project is aware of the existence of other prosecutor´ networks in the region, however they are focusing on other issues (terrorism, and piracy).

In initial contacts with the East African Association of Prosecutors (EAAP- an existing regional mechanism of General Prosecutor´s Offices that meets at the highest level at least once a year) it was found that EAAP was the best umbrella of an informal network of drug prosecutors in the region. In those preliminary contacts, the current EAAP president expressed his interest in this initiative.

Operative Dimension

Code
Year
Component
Region
Country
Place
Activity Type
Zanzibar
Meeting
Objectives

The objective is to build trust, facilitate the exchange of information and promote joint transnational investigations of drug trafficking, strengthening the Public Prosecution Offices in the region of East Africa and Indian Ocean and, in parallel, fostering regional cooperation.

A network of drug-specialized prosecutors offers the following advantages:

  • It enables face-to-face interactions that build trust between officials and better understanding about their respective legal and procedural requirements.
  • It facilitates understanding of the investigation of drug-related serious crimes being dealt with at national level in a broader context (regional and international), which should result in prosecutors not looking just at the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking at national level but instead looking at possible transnational links to other countries.
  • A regional and inter-regional approach allows countries to compare themselves against others more similarly situated, which can lead to the identification best practices in the investigation and prosecutions of serious offences linked to drug trafficking (at the national and regional level).
  • The network could promote co-operation at different levels with other platforms, working at regional and sub-regional level as a vehicle to exchange information and channel joint work, in order to share their “know-how” in the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking.
  • Network´s essential elements are capacity building, exchange of information and operational coordination. 

The implementation of the Network´s essential elements mentioned above requires the availability of financial resources. EU-ACT is committed to support the first steps in the development of the Network, and the activities agreed in coordination with its members. 

Related News

Meeting of the East Africa Association of Prosecutors to discuss enhanced co-operation in drug investigations

35 Senior Prosecutors specialized in dealing with drug trafficking cases, and coming from countries in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, have gathered under the umbrella of the East Africa Association of Prosecutor (EAAP), in Zanzibar from 17th July through 18 July 2019.

Read More

Restricted documents, you need a password to access