The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, has sought the collaboration of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to tackle organized criminal groups across the West African sub-region.
This request was made on Thursday, September 21, 2023, when a delegation of INTERPOL, led by the coordinator of the criminal networks sub-directorate of its organized crime unit, Pascal Progin, visited the corporate headquarters of the EFCC in Jabi, Abuja.
Progin specifically sought EFCC’s collaboration in tackling what he called the “Nigerian organized crime groups”, stressing that INTERPOL needed the expertise, experience, and network of the Commission to make appreciable progress in breaking the stronghold of the groups.
“Organized crime refers to criminal activities that are carried out by criminal organizations or syndicates based in Nigeria or by Nigerian criminal networks operating both within Nigeria and internationally. This can include activities such as cybercrime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping, oil theft, and illegal arms trading”, he said.
He further said these criminal activities often involve the exploitation of vulnerable individuals and can cause significant harm to both victims and society as a whole, “hence the need to collaborate with various law enforcement agencies across the globe, especially the EFCC, to eradicate the menace’’.
Responding, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, who spoke through the Head of Operations, Ibrahim Liman, said the EFCC was always ready to collaborate in any form to combat crimes and criminality. “I have listened to you; you are right. As a law enforcement organization, we have to collaborate. Crimes these days cut across borders. You may have a criminal here, but it is possible he is committing the crime in France, America, or anywhere else. So, the need for collaboration cannot be overemphasized.
Collaboration is also very important among law enforcement agencies to tackle every form of criminality’’, he said.
Discussions were held on some technical issues by officers of the EFCC and Progin’s delegation. The INTERPOL’s coordinator finally stressed that “the aim of the initiative is to support the identification of members of African organized crime groups in Africa and abroad, connecting them to their respective criminal groups through an enhanced exchange of information and the development of tailored operational activities”