This module is a resource for lecturers

Research and independent study questions

a) In your country are investigators permitted to use covert investigation techniques? Consider the investigative techniques below:

  • Interception of telecommunications;
  • Interception of email traffic;
  • Interception of post/mail;
  • Use of listening devices;
  • Use of tracking and positioning devices;
  • Use of surveillance teams;
  • Use of photographic surveillance
  • The use of false personal and company identities
  • The use of informants
  • Covert search of letters, packages, containers and parcels
  • Simulated purchase of an item
  • Simulation of a corruption offence
  • Controlled delivery
  • Covert real-time monitoring of financial transactions
  • Disclosure of financial data.

b) Do independent research on a case in which undercover operations infringed human rights. Provide recommendations about how the violation of human rights could be avoided.

c) Use the UNODC SHERLOC database (Search in section "Cross-Cutting" -> "Investigation"-> "Controlled delivery") to discuss the advantages and limitations of using controlled delivery as one of the international law enforcement responses to transnational crimes.

d) What legal requirements are there in your country, if any, restricting police powers to search private premises or a person? Is an authorization or voluntary permission
required? If so, how?

e) What are the legal preconditions for the use of electronic surveillance in your country such as the interception of communications (including telephone, mail and e-mail)?

f) Conduct your own research on the key informants Margarito and Pedro Flores in the Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman investigation. Why did Guzman's top henchmen decide to cooperate with the police? Would the course of investigation and prosecution have been different without the involvement of informants?

g) Conduct your own research on Enrique S. "Kiki" Camarena Salazar, a Mexican-born American undercover agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who was abducted on 7 February 1985, and then tortured and murdered, while on assignment in Mexico. Discuss the dangers for agents working undercover.

h) Conduct independent research on the existing law enforcement cooperation between your country and foreign police agencies. What international law enforcement bodies are present in your country? Are there liaison officers from other countries also present? Can investigators make requests to these organizations directly or do they have to operate through an intermediary organization, such as INTERPOL?

i) Under what conditions would INTERPOL remove an arrest warrant? Engage in a discussion of how politics and power may interfere with INTERPOL's management of the Wanted List? Is it possible for governments to use INTERPOL's Wanted List to pursue their enemies or political opponents? Provide real life examples.

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