Earlier this month the regional office of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in east Africa hosted an investigation technique course for Puntland police with the emphasis on human trafficking.
Findings of a UNODC assessment indicate the Puntland state of Somalia is a major hub for mixed migration movements coming mainly from Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia. According to EUCAP Nestor migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, separated children and victims of trafficking congregate in the port city of Bossaso, the main embarkation point for movements across the Arabian Sea to Yemen.
UNODC organised the basic investigation course in support of law enforcement interventions in Somalia. The mandate is to assist law enforcement authorities identify, investigate, dismantle and prosecute criminal elements promoting transnational organised crime activities.
To further this aim EUCAP Nestor legal advisor Juha Sepponen presented a talk on legislation relevant to criminal investigations to refresh and enhance participants’ knowledge of the conduct of criminal investigations. The course was opened by the Puntland police commissioner who stressed its importance given the subject matter and the difficulties experienced during investigation and prosecution of traffickers and migrant smugglers.
“The students were motivated, knowledgeable and discussion was lively. This kind of co-operation between international actors in organising training together is rewarding, for participants and organisers. UNODC did a great job putting the training together,” Sepponen said.
Twenty-one police officers, including four women, attended the five day course.