EU supports Africa in fighting organized crime

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-12 11:04:31|Editor: WX
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GABORONE, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) is committed to supporting initiatives dedicated to enhance Africa's response to transnational organized crime, said Jan Sadek, EU Ambassador to Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Sadek made the remarks at a basic intelligence criminal analysis workshop attended by representatives from 11 African countries in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, on Monday. He added that the EU is conscious of organized crime that transcends borders, and threatens governance, peace and development.

The workshop was organized by the Botswana Police Service with support from the EU. Participating countries included Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Sadek said transnational organized crime fuels conflict and corruption, infiltrates business and politics, triggers violence, and diverts resources that could have been dedicated to develop people, reduce poverty and contribute to the improvement of basic services for communities.

He acknowledged that the shifts in trade, finance, travel and communication have given rise to enormous opportunities for criminals in the region.

Dinah Marathe, deputy commissioner of the Botswana Police Service, urged participants to take advantage of INTERPOL initiatives to fight transnational organized crime.

She said Botswana is not a drug-producing country, but is experiencing an influx of illicit drugs smuggled from neighboring countries.

Top of the list of smuggled drugs, Marathe said, is marijuana, which has now infiltrated schools. "Hard drugs such as crack, cocaine, and methcathinone and crystal meth also find their way into the country through various concealment methods," she said.

Marathe called for sharing of crime intelligence and reporting of transnational organized crime.

She said cross-border crimes such as environmental crime, human trafficking and smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering and related crimes continue to rob economies and disrupt peace.