The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) held a five-day train-the-trainers session on intelligence-led operations to prevent and combat radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, from 25 to 29 July 2022.
The training aimed to enhance the participants’ knowledge of RN materials subject to potential smuggling operations, detection equipment and principles, as well as planning and conducting intelligence/law enforcement operations and radiological crime scene investigations. It included methodological lectures to improve participants’ skills as trainers who are expected to share the substantial knowledge with their peers.
Eleven practitioners from various Cambodian governmental security agencies took part in the training and were drawn from the Firearms and Explosive Management Department; the Political Intelligence; the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Office; the Ministry of Mines and Energy; the General Secretariat of National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Radiological Weapons; the Department of Customs and Excise; and the Secretariat of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee.
The training consisted of both theoretical frontal lectures and practical exercises to give trainees a comprehensive view of the subject-matter.
This session was the first within the framework of the CONTACT Southeast Asia project. As a next step, UNICRI will support participants through remote coaching and mentorship to develop and design national training sessions that are scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. A regional peer-to-peer workshop on information-sharing mechanisms will be held in November 2022.
Participants actively engaged in all activities of the training and expressed particular interest in the modules on undercover and intelligence-led operations. They also emphasized the need for continuous and sustainable support in the medium term to strengthen capacity-building in the area of RN trafficking. The same urgent need was reiterated by the Deputy Secretary General of the National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Radiological Weapons, Major General Channa, at the closing awards ceremony.
The organization of the event was facilitated by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) National Focal Point, Major Lyheng Tan, from the General Secretariat of National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Radiological Weapons of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The training was held within the scope of the project “CONTACT – Southeast Asia – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of RN material in Southeast Asia” and is funded by Global Affairs Canada.
CONTACT – Southeast Asia aims to enhance the capacities of nuclear security stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines, and Viet Nam to devise and carry out operations in order to thwart radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking attempts, as well as to foster regional cooperation and communication among the four partner countries. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program.