Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (REFLECS3) is the new incarnation of Seychelles-based Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions and Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC), which played an integral role in anti-piracy and countering drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean¬†Region.
Late in 2013, RAPPICC co-director, Garry Crone, announced that the activities of the organisation would expand to include combating other forms of maritime crime.
The transition of the original RAPPICC concept towards a broader remit addressing other types of serious crosss-border crime¬†affecting the region; such as human trafficking, drugs smuggling, environmental crime and, of course, piracy.
As the direcotr designate of REFLECS3, Joseph Bibby states in the first REFLECS3 newsletter:
The REFLECS3 is in the exciting process of transition from a purely piracy focused theme to a broader mission which focuses on enhanced maritime security in the region and building on our successful programme for counter-piracy, commencing a wider engagement with regional partners to help support the fight against transnational organised crime (TNOC).
This new mandate which was authorised by the multi-nation Steering Group, the independent body which provides strategic direction to the Centre, takes the form of three interlinked missions: A Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU), a Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC) and a Local Capacity Building Coordination Group (LCBCG).
At the very heart of the concept is the fusion of all three strands to provide, for the first time, not only a comprehensive overview of the threats facing the East African and Indian Ocean region but also building the important partnerships to work together via the TOCU to counter the threats.
Supporting this, the LCBCG will ensure that the investigators receive the necessary tools in terms of skills and equipment to do the job.
All three elements will be under one mission and will enjoy the benefits of co-location in the building of important international delivery partners such as INTERPOL, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and EUNAVFOR, as well as the planned deployment of East African and Indian Ocean colleagues. And this ensures the Centre has the capability to deliver the step-change necessary to tackle regional threats.
Read the¬†REFLECS3 March Newsletter.pdf