UN-trained law enforcement units have intercepted huge shipments of illegal drugs being trafficked through seaports this year, under the Container Control Programme (CCP), jointly launched in 2003 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization.
The aim of the program is to train customs and law enforcement officials in Latin America and the Caribbean, and elsewhere, to detect and disrupt the flow traffic of illicit goods, while facilitating legitimate trade and raising State revenues.
In 2018, the joint customs and police Port Control Units (PCU) have made significant seizures of drugs, precursor chemicals, merchandise breaching Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and protected wildlife.
Recently, the Unit in Ecuador seized two contaminated containers with over a tonne of cocaine. Similarly, the PCU in Brazil achieved the largest cocaine seizure in history of Santos, capturing more than 2.8 tons of cocaine. The Unit in the Port of Callao interdicted a container with 1.5 tons of cocaine hidden inside.
UNODC experts cited 18 operations that netted more than 8.9 tons of drugs in addition to the detention of 18 containers due to IPR infringements.
CCP offers capacity building trainings in countries seeking to improve risk management, supply chain security and trade facilitation in sea, land and airports in order to prevent the cross-border movement of illicit goods. This includes assistance through regular follow-ups and onsite visits combined with mentoring of PCUs. Further, steering committee meetings and discussions with key stakeholders are held on a regular basis.
So far, the Programme is operational in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing site visits, technical assessments, trainings, and other support to create long-term enforcement structures in select seaports. It is also operational in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Pakistan, Senegal, Togo and Turkmenistan.
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