Airport task forces in Mali and Niger seize drugs

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Since its establishment in late 2014, the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Bamako's International Airport, has made several drug seizures, totalling 14 kg of cocaine and 16 kg of methamphetamine.

UNODC and its partners worked closely with the Malian Government to establish the JAITF. Seizures were possible following the exchange of real time operational information between the JAITF in Togo and the one in Mali. Passengers were identified based on profiling methods, which are part of the training provided by UNODC and its partners.

UNODC possesses unique expertise in the control of air borders at international airports, namely via its Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), funded by the European Union and co-funded by Norway and Japan. Uniting the efforts of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), INTERPOL and UNODC, AIRCOP builds interdiction capacities at selected international airports through joint operations and real time exchange of information between law enforcement agencies to promote an intelligence-led approach for intercepting drugs. AIRCOP establishes and trains JAITFs composed of law enforcement officials from Police, Customs, Immigration, Gendarmerie and airport authorities.

Since its launch in June 2015, the JAITF in Niamey, Niger, conducted two arrests for drug trafficking following UNODC training. One of the suspects had been traveling from Latin America through Eastern Africa and was caught with 70 capsules of cocaine totalling over 1 kg. JAITF officials working in Niamey said that their unit had been "strengthened by the training provided by UNODC on profiling and behavioural analysis of suspicious passengers." Specifically, the members of the Nigerien JAITF added that "thanks to the training provided by UNODC, we were able to track down the suspect."

"AIRCOP allowed to set up a single specialized entity grouping all forces to fight against illicit trafficking of all kinds. Today, drug trafficking in the BamakoSenou airport diminished thanks to the increased coordination provided by the platform."Captain Alhader Yoro Maïga, Senior Air Operations Officer at the Bamako JAITF

The activities underlying this result were funded by the European Union and Denmark