Red Sea Project

Enhancing maritime law enforcement in the Red Sea region

Timeframe: February 2021 - November 2024
Budget: EUR 6.1 million
Donor: European Union


The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden constitute one of the world’s major shipping routes. As well as enabling global trade, these waters also present immense opportunities for development and prosperity in the bordering countries.

This potential is far from being fulfilled due to regional instability, conflict, piracy and transnational organized crime which endanger the freedom of navigation of vessels through these waters and discourage investment into port infrastructure and maritime commerce.

About the project

This project forms part of the Regional Programme for Maritime Security in the Red Sea, funded by the European Union.

INTERPOL, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are working together to help beneficiary countries develop their capacity and to promote adequate security and safety standards for maritime, port and land-based law enforcement authorities.

The beneficiary countries are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Project activities

Project Red Sea consists of three pillars.

Pillar 1: Training and capacity building

Specialized training includes:

  • Law enforcement techniques and crime scene investigations in the maritime domain
  • Physical security of port infrastructures
  • Improvised explosive devices
  • Financial investigations in the maritime domain

Other forms of training include:

  • Train-the-trainer sessions
  • Intensive training on I-24/7

Mentoring sessions:

  • Human trafficking
  • Drug trafficking
  • Fisheries crime
  • Analytical support
  • Stolen and lost travel documents

Pillar 2: Provision of technical equipment to intensify cooperation

  • Extending I-24/7
  • Using biometric devices
  • Using data management and analysis software
  • Using “crime scene investigations“ kits

Pillar 3: Regional maritime security operations

  • Organizing country-to-country exchange visits
  • Producing analytical reports
  • Organizing regional maritime security operations to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement agencies of participating countries.