Nearly 80 seizures of drugs and more than 70 arrests were made during an operation targeting drug trafficking routes from Latin America and the Caribbean bound for Europe via Africa.
Organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in cooperation with INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Operation Cocair V was funded by the European Commission under the Cocaine Route Programme and involved some 30 countries.
Some 411 kg of cocaine, 50 kg of psychotropic substances and 50 kg of khat were recovered in addition to 750 rounds of ammunition and USD 1.6 million in cash.
Building on the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), the operation saw the establishment of Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs) composed of officers drawn from different services specialized in combating smuggling in general and drug trafficking in particular, essentially customs and police.
The operation, which ran from 2 to 13 December 2015, saw strengthened customs and police controls at departure, in transit and on arrival of passengers in each of the international airports located on routes used by smugglers.
Throughout the operation, law enforcement and customs officials as well as the AIRCOP JAITFs, were able to share information about high-risk passengers and seizures via INTERPOL’s I-24/7 network and WCO’s communications tool CENcomm, with around 8,000 messages exchanged in total.