Malian authorities seize a kilogram of cocaine in Bamako Airport

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The Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force in Mali, in close cooperation with Mali's OCS (Office Central des Stupéfiants) has recently seized a kilogram of cocaine from a passenger traveling from Latin America, in the form of over 60 cocaine pellets ingested by the suspect before boarding.

This seizure was facilitated by efficient collaboration between airport authorities in South America and in West Africa, under UNODC's Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP).

AIRCOP provides extensive training to the airport task forces, composed of law enforcement officials from Police, Customs, Immigration, Gendarmerie and airport authorities, in an attempt to enhance real time cooperation and exchange of operational information between international airports.

Bamako's JAITF had recently seized cocaine from Latin America, and maintains good cooperation levels with Mali's OCS, which was itself able to seize over 80 cocaine pellets (1,6 kilogram worth 48 million FCFA), and over a ton of counterfeited medicine in early February, thanks to training provided by UNODC.

The AIRCOP project is funded by the European Union, co-funded by Japan and Norway, and unites the efforts of the World Customs Organization (WCO), INTERPOL and UNODC. Cooperation between authorities in Africa is also enhanced through the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP), launched in 2003, which has enabled authorities of participating States to seize over 36 metric tons of cocaine and 26 metric tons of cannabis in the last 10 years.

These specialized border control units, now established at the international airports of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, as well as in the dry port of Bamako, will soon be linked to the security architecture of the G5 Sahel. This organization, which brings together Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, was established in 2014 to promote, among other things, security cooperation between (and within) the five Sahelian countries.

The UNODC Sahel Programme has built up a close partnership with the G5 Sahel to ensure regional ownership of UNODC initiatives and to support capacity-building efforts in the criminal justice system of the region.