The Crime at Sea event took place on 12 February 2020, and was held at the External Cooperation Infopoint in Brussels. Bringing together over 70 participants, the event aimed to discuss the West African coastal threats and the European responses.
Experts, partners and representatives of the ENACT and SEACOP projects, part of the Global Illicit Flows programme (GIFP), Gulf of Guinea Inter-Regional Network (GoGIN), one of the Critical Maritime Routes projects assembled to share information on the seaports as main gateways for licit trade as well as any other type of illicit trafficking.
The ENACT project representatives elaborated on the trends and threats and challenges posed by seaport infrastructure expansion in West Africa. Among the challenges faced in tackling the illicit trade, the speakers stressed the link between corruption and organised crime. Another challenge discussed was the inadequate capacity of law enforcement to manage effectively the organised crime threat from the ports due to their size and volume of trade. The financial infrastructure of the ports was also discussed.
SEACOP experts based in West Africa presented two case studies on recent seizures explaining their work in building capacity to profile, control and search vessels suspected to be involved in drug trafficking. The GoGIN project coordinator gave a presentation of the activities underlying GoGIN’s objective to improve maritime security on the Gulf of Guinea and favor the Blue Economy.