UNODC. Today we will focus on countering money laundering and organised crime, as well as the role of networks. We will also touch upon new transit routes and present our partnership initiatives.
Alexis Fishincker, UNODC. Drug trafficking is an industry with millions of revenues. Recently we discovered a new way of dangerous large scale money laundering, so called ‘mixers’. You get input points, an account where you send money, and an exit point, where you receive money. Many transactions happen every day and they are not trackable. You then get money sent in different parts of the world. One example discovered in Eastern Europe shows that there were 170 accounts with 150,000 transactions. another example is the Landromat case smanaged to launder 22 billion dollars. The drug trade over the internet is also problematic. Over 25% of PWUD according to the World Drug Report buy their drugs over the internet and this is paid for via bitcoin. In most countries these services are not regulated. This provides huge opportunities for criminals to move proceeds of drugs. What can we do? We need to build the knowledge. UNODC conducted in December the 1st workshop on illegal financial networks to give practitioners from different countries knowledge of this issue, and they will do so regularly from now on. Second solution – creating a network of experts to share experience. And third, we need trainings of law enforcement and investigators.
Karyn Kramer, UNODC. Last year we talked about formal international cooperation and the steps states could undertake to strengthen existing mechanisms, both formal and informal. We had a meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the UNTOC mechanism. The UNTOC adopted a resolution on countering organised crime, which includes a number of elements of interest for criminal matters. Under the COP-UNODC, we held a number of side events on the roles and functions of central authorities, with many practitioners around the room, discussing international cooperation. But there needs to be more inclusion of practitioners to share their expertise. But there are formalities in the working group that prevent these discussions so we need other forms to provide them with a platform. They are also regional networks, which can sometimes be problematic, but they are a good start. To follow up on the resolution, UNODC will hold a formal working group meeting to discuss the role of central authorities, the week before CCPCJ, to discuss how the central authorities are established, what functions they have, how do other officials know what the functions of the central authorities are, what are the procedures, what are the mechanisms to track activities, can officials use better communications and address issues of confidentiality, etc. What are the issues of good practices between central authorities and other officials? We’re seeking a small amount of funding for this small working group meeting for less developed countries – so if you’re interested in funding this, let me know. I will have a budget to share at the end of the week.
A new judicial cooperation network was added to the family since April last year – Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia. There was a follow up meeting in November at which UNODC participated, where participants agreed to the terms of reference. More and more countries are acknowledging similar problems and are looking at similar solutions. UNODC will take the lead with the ICG to move forward this network. We must fundraise for the network so let me know again if you’re interested. There will be a fundraising event in the following weeks.
We held a meeting with the Migrant Smuggling Programme of UNODC. One of the issues here is money, the profit model. We found we needed to work much more on this issue. Many countries still have problems with the basis. We also looked at cocaine trafficking in West Africa. We’re trying at UNODC to work all together to cooperate on all of these issues.
In the same way we need strong financial agencies and strong units to counter trafficking, we also need strong central authorities. We’ve been working on this for years, how come we still have such a problem? Well, many countries don’t have central authorities, something institutionalised. When we do trainings for central authorities, in some countries there is no financial unit. In some, a prosecutor has to respond or request other countries for international cooperation in addition to this daily job. This request will also not have the same strength as a higher request. We need to strengthen these central authorities. In the old days, countries could get away with this as they didn’t cooperate with other countries. The game is now different as countries cooperate with many more countries than in the past. Brazil is a good example, they have made some 120 requests under the UNTOC convention. There are many challenges that could be better addressed with strong central authorities. The authorities could act as a centre of expertise for its own authorities on international cooperation, ensure strong links of communications, execute requests, develop case tracking systems.
Marco Teixeira, UNODC. Let me give you a few examples of transit routes. The first one is for cocaine and leaving from Central America. Another one aspect is the use of cash couriers, departing from the EU and going to South America. These cases are opportunities to conduct more investigations and connect with cocaine traffickers. They also have points in common – they are transatlantic, they involve several criminal justice actors, there are many jurisdictions competent to investigate and prosecute, and there are high commercial values involved. There are 5 reasons why to organise: investigation, police cooperation, judicial cooperation, financial investigation, and finally reducing risks of corruption given the amounts of flows involved.
In the outcome document there is one recommendation to enhance capacity of authorities and international and inter agency cooperation. The programme CRIMJUST focuses on capacity building of national authorities, institutional integrity and interregional cooperation. This will be led by UNODC, Interpol and Transparency International. Next steps will include maintaining knowledge and research on business models of narco groups, enhance cooperation on disruptive techniques, support trans-regional cooperation between criminal justice actors, deviate our focus on the commodities (not only cocaine trafficking) but focus on organised crime, and focus strongly our efforts on post seizure investigations.
Malta, on behalf of the European Union.
In regard to items 44 to 46 of the remarks of H.E. Ambassador Pedro Moitinho de Almeida, which in effect are a proposal for a way forward, the EU and its Member States fully support the three recommendations pertaining to:
- action that could be taken by the CND to support Member States in the implementation of the UNGASS operational recommendations;
- reviewing the work of the UN subsidiary bodies in order that they are able to better support the implementation of operational recommendations of the outcome document at regional level;
- to strengthen the use of the CND post UNGASS website.
An efficient criminal justice system, which includes the principle of proportionate sentencing, shall respect and uphold the rule of law and human rights. This is considered by the EU and its member states as key to the practice of democratic values as well as a guarantee for the safety of all citizens.
The EU already presented at the intersessional meeting of 11th October 2016 the methodological instrument it uses to counter serious and organized crime and which is based on the concept of intelligence-led policing. This instrument is called the EU Policy Cycle for Organised and Serious International Crime through which actions against cross-border crime is better co-ordinated between all member states.
Improving the availability and quality of information and analysis on illicit drug cultivation, production and manufacturing, drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit financial flows would enable the CND to adopt a methodological instrument aiming at introducing building blocks for more intelligence-led policing at international level and also bringing all relevant UN initiatives and all EU Member States and third parties together in their fight against organized and serious drug related crime. The establishment of such an instrument would contribute to the implementation of the operational recommendations under this chapter 3.
The EU and its Member States consider that the CND should examine how its subsidiary bodies can better contribute to the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document, including through the regular exchange of information, good practices and lessons learned among national practitioners from different fields. We should also consider additional measures to further facilitate meaningful discussion among those practitioners.
The EU and its member states stand ready to support the CND in its efforts to tackle drug supply by providing know how on matters pertaining to the quality and analysis of information for such an instrument.
Thank you, Chair.
Argentina. Effective law enforcement, responses to organised crime and countering money laundering, and judicial cooperation will be my focus here. We should strengthen cooperation to exchange information internationally. We promote a balanced and comprehensive approach to counter supply as highlighted in the outcome document. This was integrated in national level policies and strategies where we promote intelligence sharing to counter those involved in drug trafficking, as well as other drug related crime such as asset and money laundering. In terms of operational supply reduction, we need more efforts to exchange information and data. We’re also involved in PIX and Global SMART. Exchange of information is key. We’ve established a round table in Argentina to share information. To monitor trends and flows, we have joined the CRIMJUST programme and promotes efforts to set up the Global Container Control programme. On judicial cooperation, we are in the process of implementing a new integrated judicial control framework in our legislation where we are dealing with covert operations. This highlights further the need to promote cooperation in national, cooperation and international levels.
Russia. We continue to have grave concerns on opiate production and traffic groups from Afghanistan. We ask the CND to take action on the issue and on the implementation of the Paris Pact. We ask international donors to commit to eradicating the drug threat posed by Afghanistan. In terms law enforcement capacity to address the drug threat, we highlight the importance to strengthen anti drug police, drug control bodies, financial bodies and prosecutors. We welcome the new UNODC initiatives to offer technical assistance to Afghanistan and other states to counter Afghan trafficking routes.
Singapore. We have strong command and operational cooperation. We detect and arrest all drug traffickers before they develop and cooperate in the drug scene. We launched the integrated command for police, and central narcotics bureau to work on check points. We focus on risk profiling. We have regularly reviewed laws and enforcement capabilities to ensure we can cope with new trends, such as NPS. NPS have rapidly developed around the world, faster than it takes to schedule them. In Singapore, we have enacted a Misuse of Drug Act to control the proliferation of NPS so that they can be temporarily scheduled for 12 months, to be extended for another 12 months while we document them. If they have no legitimate uses, we schedule them in Class A. In keeping with our drug-free society for children, in 2012 we strengthened penalties for drug trafficking. A new offence was created to punish those who target children and youth in criminal organisations. Offenders face enhanced punishment if young people are targeted in drug trafficking. We can also track, seize financial flows related to drug trafficking. We will continue to support CND as the central agency for tackling drugs. We recognise there is no size fits all. We thank CND for making these sessions possible.
Martin Diaz, IEPES. We urge those states that support Central American governments to reinforce their efforts to tackle organised crime in the region. For now, these efforts only lead to minimum impact and result in human rights violations. We must train, assist prosecutors and judges, but given the fragility of the rule of law, there needs to be strong assistance with special rapporteurs and commissions. We must promote local and regional debate. The Northern Triangle faces similar issues and provides an opportunity to share experiences. We touch upon the relationship between governments and civil society. We must promote and strengthen civil society to develop a stronger vision for security purposes. Decriminalising young people and PWUD requires tangible changes in laws. But we must provide prevention and education, and promote alternatives to mere prohibitionism. The Northern Triangle suffers and we need support to tackle organised crime that is embedded in state structures. Full statement in Spanish here.
Colombia. We have developed differentiated guidelines to tackle drug related violence. In keeping with what has been said on the need to promote cooperation and exchange of information, facilitators should be appointed among states on a rotating basis to promote exchange and cooperation among anti-drugs agencies at national and international level. This would support joint responses to tackle drug trafficking networks and organised crime. We should also develop a standing monitoring mechanism, reports on trafficking activities so that we can get reliable data. CND should also consider identifying additional areas of work along those tackled by CCPCJ.
Peru. We give great importance to this area of the outcome document. Given the importance of this issue and the need for this to be addressed in a comprehensive manner, we promote international mechanisms to enhance cooperation in tackling organised crime and money laundering. CND should work with UNODC to strengthen the development and implementation of specialised permanent training programmes on money laundering, and design protocols for authorities to carry out financial investigations alongside those carried out for drug trafficking. We should strengthen effective law enforcement to prevent groups at risk, above all youth, from becoming involved in illicit drug trafficking. We should focus on reintegration of those sentenced for drug trafficking incidents. We should provide technical assistance and training for those countries that need it. We have joined the CRIMJUSTICE programme to promote international cooperation.
China. The measures related to supply reduction included in the outcome document, we support CND and UNODC to strengthen data collection and monitoring current drug trends and share lessons learned. Use should be made of UNODC mechanisms to share intelligence in organised crime at national, regional and international level, and UNODC should respond to requests for technical assistance. Assistance and cooperation in law enforcement should also be strengthened. At the same time, any changes to the mandates of these mechanisms should only be based on the basis of full consultation and agreement among all member states. UNDOC regional offices should be given more power, they are at the frontline of drug control. In the Greater Mekong River subregion, UNODC provides technical assistance and provides a large number of support with positive results. Attention should be given to law enforcement cooperation for drug control at all levels. China actively takes part in, and leads, cooperation efforts in ASEAN, BRIC countries and the Asian region. We enhance intelligence sharing with other countries, which has produced positive results. UNODC should promote the implementation of conventions on organised crime, with cooperation of Interpol and other mechanisms. We should also strengthen contacts with others such as ASEAN to effectively combat organised crime.
Indonesia. While progress has been made in combatting drug trafficking, criminal activities remain a serious threat. The flow of people and goods continues to expand and this is a possible market for trafficking drugs. ATS and NPS continue to flow through the country. We’ve taken strong law enforcement measures to tackle this issue. The serious nature of the crime can be clearly established considering harms. The INCB is the leading international body for combatting trafficking, we ask that it be strengthened and better funded. Such strict law enforcement is needed and has been proven to work in Indonesia. In our case, it is not an easy task given the size of our country. Based on our experience and others’, we must adopt a balanced approach between demand and supply and participation of community for prevention efforts to counter the abuse of drugs and trafficking. Demand reduction, supply reduction and international cooperation are three key pillars for tackling the drugs issue.
United States. The CND is a critical venue here. CND could focus on specific regions at meetings. We encourage CND to look for ways to share information with CCPCJ on common issues such as providing mutual assistance among countries, combatting financial flows and crime networks.
Amaya Ordorika Imaz, Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights. The UNGASS was a special opportunity to bring forward better visibility for human rights. The Special Rapporteur on summary executions promoted the right of all for mental and physical health. But the international community continues to promote a drug free world. The creation of a special section on human rights in the outcome document fails to properly integrate it across all spheres including for international cooperation. In Latin America many drug control policies have led to human rights violations. In Mexico, violence, insecurity and corruption have increased, as have forced disappearances and torture as a result of drug control. Even though the UNGASS outcome document includes safeguards and due process in access to justice as well as prevention of torture, the supply reduction section continues to promote measures that lead to such human rights violations. As an organisation dedicated to the defence of human rights, we believe that the various elements included in the outcome document are not compatible.