Our role in fighting drug trafficking

We provide operational support, analysis and training to help national police to tackle widescale drug trafficking.

Since the types of drugs trafficked and the routes used are constantly evolving, it is essential that countries work together in a united and coordinated way.

We assist national, regional and international law enforcement bodies to counter the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs in the following ways:

  • Global operations against drug trafficking and assistance to ongoing investigations;
  • Criminal analysis of intelligence on drug trafficking routes, modus operandi and the criminal networks involved;
  • Comprehensive training for police worldwide to better tackle drug trafficking.


We coordinate drug trafficking operations spanning different regions of the world, and support drug operations and investigations led by national or international agencies. They aim to disrupt the movement of specific products along routes affecting target regions or international illicit drug flows.

Our operational working meetings serve as a platform for officers worldwide to exchange information on cases where we have identified common links.

The Lionfish model of operations targets drug trafficking along every possible route: air, land and sea. First conducted in 2013 in Latin America, it has since expanded to other regions of the world and involves thousands of law enforcement officials. Read more about Operation Lionfish.


Ensuring police worldwide have the knowledge and skills to prevent, investigate and disrupt drug trafficking is a key part of our drug strategy.

Training can be combined with operational support to assist member countries in planning and executive on-the-ground operations against drug trafficking.

Case study: Fiji

Following a significant increase in the volume of illegal drugs being trafficked through the country, the Fiji authorities requested INTERPOL’s assistance. In May 2018, we delivered a comprehensive training course covering drugs, financial investigations and security document examination.

Police from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Timor-Leste learned how to use the Relief database which provides automatic analysis of the tool marks, logos and chemical compositions of drug packages.

Global Conference on Illicit Drugs

Our first Global Conference on Illicit Drugs took place in Spain in April 2018, bringing together representatives from more than 100 countries. The meeting also gave participants the chance to review recent developments, and implications of convergences between drug trafficking and other criminal activities such as money laundering, cybercrime and weapons trafficking.