Year
Senegal
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    Senegal

    Capital

    Dakar

    Population

    16,296,364

    Area

    196,710 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 23,578.08 million

    GDP per capita

    $1,447.00

    Income group

    Lower middle income

    4.810.21

    Criminality Score

    34th of 54 African countries

    14th of 15 West Africa countries

    Criminal market

    5.000.55

    Human Trafficking

    5.000.00

    Human Smuggling

    5.000.50

    Arms Trafficking

    4.501.00

    Flora Crimes

    7.500.50

    Fauna Crimes

    7.000.50

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    3.50-1.00

    Heroin Trade

    2.500.00

    Cocaine Trade

    6.503.00

    Cannabis Trade

    6.001.00

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    2.500.00

    Criminal Actors

    4.63-0.12

    Mafia-Style Groups

    2.50-1.00

    Criminal Networks

    5.500.00

    State-Embedded Actors

    4.500.50

    Foreign Actors

    6.000.00

    5.58-0.46

    Resilience Score

    5th of 54 African countries

    2nd of 15 West Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.50-0.50

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    4.00-1.00

    International Cooperation

    6.000.00

    National Policies and Laws

    6.500.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    5.00-1.00

    Law Enforcement

    6.00-1.00

    Territorial Integrity

    6.500.00

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.00-1.50

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    5.50-0.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    5.000.00

    Prevention

    5.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    7.000.00

    5.5833333333333 4.625 5 5.5833333333333 4.625 5

    5.58-0.46

    Resilience Score

    5th of 54 African countries

    2nd of 15 West Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.50-0.50

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    4.00-1.00

    International Cooperation

    6.000.00

    National Policies and Laws

    6.500.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    5.00-1.00

    Law Enforcement

    6.00-1.00

    Territorial Integrity

    6.500.00

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.00-1.50

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    5.50-0.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    5.000.00

    Prevention

    5.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    7.000.00

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    People

    Senegal is a country of originand destination for human trafficking victims. Children from Guinea-Bissau are regularly trafficked to Senegal for forced labour by Quranic teachers, an old practice exploiteddue to the high profits gained from child begging. Senegal is also a hub for labour agencies recruiting West Africans to the Gulf, the Middle East and Europe. These activities are under-regulated, which results in peoplebeing exploited and traffickedfor forced prostitution, in destination countries.

    The human smuggling market is not as pervasive as it was previously when Senegal was a major country of origin and a transit hub forpeoplesmuggled to Europe from West Africa.Currently, most foreign nationals in Senegal do not need a visa to be admitted into the country. Many international donors are supported byconsulates based in Senegal, which has attracted the visa-fraud industry. This results in highlevels of corruption, and Senegal therefore remains a major hub for document and visa fraud for people seeking passage through the country. Smuggling has typically been a low-level criminal activity void ofstigma, and smuggler services are blatantly offered at transport hubs, and in conjunction with the legal transport industry.

    Trade

    Senegal is a relatively peaceful and stable country, although a low-scale conflict which started in 1982 has been ongoing in thesouthern region of Casamance. Since then,the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has been consistently acquiring arms, for use in its insurrection against the government. Although the market is comparably small, Dakar appears to have become a choice target for traffickers, as suggested by increased arms seizures. Furthermore, there has been significant arms circulation in the southern towns of Medina Gounass and Diaoube, as well as in the more centrally located Touba.

    Environment

    The illicit flora market in Senegal has grown substantially. Forests within theCasamance regionalong the Gambian border have been largely destroyed by Chinese criminal actors and Casamance rebels, and after a periodof intensive illegal logging, African rosewood is becoming increasingly endangered. Rosewood trees are illegally felled, smuggled across the border to The Gambia, and subsequently exported to China. The rate of trafficking across the border has worsened, and although a move by shipping lines to haltexporting rosewood has reduced trafficking, this is expected to be temporary. The former Gambian president has been accused of playing a major role in the deforestation of the forests, whereby timber was traded through a shell company. Living conditions of the local population that largely rely on tourism and agriculture, have worsened as a result.

    With regard to wildlife crimes, fishing, asthe main livelihood of the Senegalese, is becoming increasingly scarce, with the fishing sector severely affected by fraud and corruption, corporatism and a de facto monopoly organized or maintained by the state. Senegalese waters are categorized as overfished, with instancesof local fishing nets being cut by foreign trawlers, with sizeable catches then loaded directly onto container ships. Most large fishing vessels operating illegally in Senegalese waters are from Europe, China and Russia, and there are mounting tensions between Mauritanian and Senegalese fishermen, who trespass into Mauritania's waters, and are met with violence.Senegalese artisanal fishermen have therefore turned to unsustainable practices, such as catching juvenile fish. On land, Senegal is a major transit hub for illicit ivory trafficking, and leopard peltsand crocodile skins have also been seized, as have wild birds destined for Spain. The trafficking of fauna, which includes lion hides and bones, aardvarkfeet, vulturesas well asthe scimitar-horned oryx, usually occursfor traditional Chinese and African medicine markets.

    Senegal does not have an abundance of non-renewable resources, but illicit gold mining does exist. Illegal gold mining and smuggling mainly involve nationals from other West African countries operating in the south eastern region of Kedougou. The recent discovery of oil and gas couldpotentially increase the role of the illicit economy. Additionally, it has been reported that land lost to illegal logging and insufficient income from agriculture may force villagers to resort to gold mining.

    Drugs

    Cannabis is the most used drug in Senegal. The market is particularly pervasive in the Casamance region, where cannabis is cultivated by MFDC separatists. Cannabis production and sales continue on the Karone Islands near The Gambia, mainly involving Senegalese and Bissau-Guineans. Senegal is also a trans-shipment point for regional cannabis, particularly resin moving through Dakar into neighbouring countries.The countryhas become an important hub for cocaine trafficked to Europe andnearly all routes from West Africa to Morocco pass through Senegal.While some of the drug is consumed locally, the market is relatively small.

    Recent heroin seizures have been minimal, however there are a significant number of users in the country. With regard to synthetic drugs, the market is limited, however, Senegal is reportedly used as a transit country.

    Criminal Actors

    Senegal is becoming a hub for foreign criminals due to the comparatively high level of development and stability in the country. In addition to Nigerian criminal actors, who have operated in Senegal for decades, primarily in drug trafficking, cybercrime and human trafficking, other nationals from West African countries operate as illegal miners and smugglers in the gold-rich south-eastern region of Kedougou. Furthermore, Asian vessels are often noted to befishing illegally off the Senegalese coast, whilesome Chinese nationals are reportedly involved in wildlife crime, particularly ivory trafficking. There are many criminal networks in Senegal involved in drug trafficking and money laundering, and most have connections to foreign groups. For instance, the vehicle-trafficking market has grown substantially in the region, and French-based criminal networks involved in this market have representatives in Senegal. They are tasked with selling the stolen vehicleswithin the region, and subsequently launder the profits.

    While Senegal’s institutions function appropriately for the most part, corruption is occasionally reported by local media or civil society. For instance, high-ranking officials were allegedly involved in timber trafficking in Casamance. Conversely, mafia-style groups, in the strictest sense, do not operate in Senegal. However, there are economic groups that seize criminal opportunities to make money and have the potential to develop into consolidated mafia-style organizations. Some individuals with known names, from influential religious families, are heavily involved in the trafficking of counterfeit medicines, and although there is government awareness, such actors operate with impunity and often enjoy government protection. Religious leaders also exert influence on the government’s decision-making process.

    Leadership and governance

    Senegal is a relatively stable nation compared to other African countries but is fairly at-risk to political instability. The government consistently prioritizes the fight against organized crime, with the issue firmly positioned on the country's national security agenda. Furthermore, significant progress has been made in responding to certain crime-specific markets, including timber trafficking, where a new forest code was adopted by the National Assembly in 2018.Perceptions of corruption are moderate, and the creation of anti-corruption bodies in the wake of the 2012 election was cause for optimism for many. However, there is evidence to suggest that these bodies are biased, as no actors from thePresident’s party have been prosecuted for financial crimes. In addition, Senegalese media have almost unanimously blamed the country's inability to make progress with regard to countering corruption, on alack of political will.

    Senegal has ratified all international treaties relevant toorganized crime, including the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). However, the implementation of UNTOCand cooperation with other statesremains weak, notably with regard to extradition. Nonetheless, Senegal's cooperation with its immediate neighbours, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, has been growing. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Gambian and Senegalese drug and law enforcement agencies, and cross-border operations are regularly organized, and facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Efforts have also beenmadeto ensure that Senegal ratifies the MEDICRIMEConvention.Furthermore, a legal framework for countering organized crime exists in Senegal, particularly in relation to timber trafficking, cybersecurity and transnational terrorism. Senegal has also developed a national drug strategy and has initiated changes to the country's drug laws, however, some national laws are in need of revision.

    Criminal justice and security

    The justice system in Senegal is adequatewith regard to prosecuting criminals engaged in organized crime. However, the judiciary’s capacity to tackle organized crime is limited, and there are no judiciary-related specialized units tasked with countering organized crime. The transnational aspect of organized crime is not fully integrated within Senegalese judicial practices, and there is therefore a need for enhanced capacity building for legal practitioners.

    Senegalese law enforcement is often cited as one of the most professional and dynamic in Africa, despite a shortage oftraining and resources. However, there appears to be no specialized units of law enforcement established with the specific aim of countering organized crime. The country's extensive land borders are porous and cross-border crimes do occur between Senegal and neighbouring countries. Nonetheless, Senegal continues to maintain its territorial integrity.

    Economic and financial environment

    Senegal has made the greatest progress in combating money laundering among the members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. However, there is little evidence of high-level prosecutions, particularly for those with political connections, and significant money laundering activity still occurs.The country has a national anti-money laundering strategy, but it is lacking. Additionally, challengeswith regards to ease of doing business may explain, in part, why many rely on informal practices.

    Civil society and social protection

    Significant action has been noted in the area of victim support in Senegal. For instance, a drug treatment centre, the only one of its kind in West Africa,opened in Dakar in 2016.Efforts are also being made by the government to prevent and combat organized crime, and awareness eventsaroundthe proliferation of arms and light weapons areregularly organized.However, more can be done to help victims exit slavery.Senegal's civil society isextremely activeand freedom of the press is generally respected. Nevertheless, media coverage of certaintopicsremain off limits, with some journalists being summoned and intimidated for reporting oncorruption. Nevertheless, there appears to be a robust and free media environment, and Senegal enjoys a diverse media landscape.

    Analyses

    Mali: West Africa’s hub for illegal gold trade with Dubai

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.