A new maritime security program was launched in Central America on June 23, in an effort to further counter organized crime in Central America.
The new Center of Excellence on Maritime Security, launched in Panama City by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will act to stop illicit and counterfeit goods from entering markets through the worlds ports, according to UNODC website.
Among the commonly smuggled goods are cocaine, illegally-logged wood, and illegal chemicals. The new Center of Excellence will help diagnose threats in maritime security and serve as a resource of expertise, training, data collection, and analysis. It will provide strategic direction and training in search techniques, security, maritime interdiction, human trafficking, and the handling of hazardous and toxic cargo, according to UNODC.
Regional program offices were also opened for Central America, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. Most of the worlds trade is shipped by containers, which means that containers are also the main delivery system for illicit goods, said UNODC Deputy Executive Director Francis Maertens in a press release.