The SEACOP is a European Commission initiative, which has been piloted in Ghana, Senegal and Cape Verde. It has been set up to prevent the Trans-Atlantic cocaine flow to the European Union, and to provide support to West African Countries along the Atlantic Ocean to counter the cocaine/narcotic threat and other serious transnational organised crimes such as explosives and firearms trafficking, trafficking of persons and trafficking of nuclear materials (among others) through containers, commercial vessels, pleasure crafts, go-fast launchers, pirogues, yachts, coasters, freighters and fishing boats.
The SEACOP Concept in Sierra Leone
In 2013, the European Union (EU) and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) held discussions on the establishment of the SEACOP programme in Sierra Leone. On 23rd September 2013, a 5-day training was provided by EU SEACOP experts on SEACOP issues at the Sierra Leone Police Training School, Hastings for 13 SL-SEACOP Team members drawn from the SLPA, SLP-Maritime, NRA, Immigration Department, RSLAF-Maritime Wing, CISU and the ONS as the coordinating body. However, a new Team has since been constituted and the membership has now been broadened to include two representatives drawn from the following TOCU institutions: ONS, CISU, RSLAF, NDLEA, Immigration, IIS, SLPA, NRA, SLMA and TOCU.
DAY ONE (1) OF THE ORIENTATION
A team of personnel drawn from SEACOP institutions was hosted at the SEACOP Office at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay on a two-day orientation exercise conducted on Monday, 13th and Tuesday 14th June 2022.
The purpose of the orientation was to train, discuss, and share knowledge with personnel with a view to understanding the modes of the SEACOP operations, and conforming to the rules and regulations guiding the operations.
The orientation started with an opening statement from the Deputy Director, Serious Organized Crime and Counter Terrorism Directorate within the Office of National Security (ONS); Mr. Shek Ahmed Bah.
At this juncture, presenters were ushered in to do the undermentioned presentations by the following people;
- SEACOP Programme – Abdul Karim Will, Deputy Director, STRATCOM, ONS
- Ethics and Integrity – Felix Ahmed Tejan-Kabba, ACC
- Overview of Ports Security – Alpha Bangura, Harbour Master, SLPA
- Safety and IMDG Codes – Eustace Rogers, Manager, Safety & Security, SLPA
- Introduction to Container Risk Profiling -Melvin John CISU
- Container Types & Open Sources – Fogbawa Bundu RSLAF
DAY TWO (2)
- Rip-off/Rip-on Modalities & Rummaging Techniques – Eustace Rogers SLPA
- Container Risk Profiling-the Goods, the Routine – Melvin John CISU
- Advanced Vehicle Search – Sylvester Laggah ONS
- Container Risk Profiling- Consignee/Notify Party – Melvin John CISU
- Container Concealments & Search Skills – Eustace Rogers & Melvin John
- Advanced Vehicle Search Technique – Sylvester Laggah ONS
At the end of the presentation sessions on the final day, the Deputy Director, Serious Organized Crime and Counter Terrorism Coordination Directorate expressed appreciation to all participants for their time, and the knowledge shared in the whole exercise.