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35 senior Prosecutors specialised 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. One of the main achievement of the event was the establishment of an informal network of Prosecutors from the region, designed to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of complex trafficking of narcotics drugs along the so called “Southern Route” (from the Iran / Pakistan coast to East Africa through the Indian Ocean).
Specifically, the network is intended to build trust, facilitate the exchange of information, and promote joint transnational investigations of drug trafficking, thus strengthening the Public Prosecution Offices in the region of East Africa and the Indian Ocean. The creation of the referred to Network shall foster regional co-operation, and serve as a mechanism for exchanging knowledge and best practices.
This important event has been organised by the Secretariat General of the East Africa Association of Prosecutors in partnership with the “EU Action against Drugs and Organized Crime (EU-ACT)”, a Project funded by the European Union Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The Zanzibar conference has addressed many operational issues and provided an opportunity for bringing together prosecutors coming from: Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
During the 2-day event, topics for discussion also included: lessons from investigating cocaine trafficking networks (facilitated by a European Prosecutor); the drugs-terrorism nexus; developing and retaining financial investigation experts; multi-commodity networks (namely, cocaine and heroin); asset recovery networks; and strategic planning for the disruption of organized crime networks. In the margins of the workshop a number of meetings of the “Technical Committee” of the EAAP took place.
The EU-ACT Project is designed to promote the comprehensive and balanced EU approach on drugs, and enhance synergies with the EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime. The Project, which is funded under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), shall support the aforementioned countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 16.a), and the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document on the World Drug Problem.
A Partnership involving relevant authorities and institutions from Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom implements the EU-ACT Project, with the Project being led by the Spanish International Foundation of Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).