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28 February 2014

Tackling drug trafficking across Middle East and North Africa focus of INTERPOL meeting

LYON, France – Increased information exchange and enhanced coordination were identified as key areas to more effectively tackle drug trafficking during the first INTERPOL meeting of Heads of Drugs Units in the Middle East and North Africa.

Bringing together 59 drug investigation specialists and heads of INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) from 21 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and the Americas. The two-day (25 and 26 February) meeting saw participants address issues relating to the criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking and emerging smuggling routes.

Special focus was given to the most commonly abused drug substances in the region, in particular captagon, tramadol and Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS), as well as the increasing frequency of large scale heroin interceptions.

Jointly organized by INTERPOL’s Middle East and North Africa (MNA) and Drugs and Criminal Organizations (DCO) units, the meeting also saw delegates updated on INTERPOL’s global tools and services which can assist in national, regional and international investigations, including its drug alerts and Notices system.

Representatives from other international organizations and bodies including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, International Narcotics Control Board, World Customs Organization, Arab Interior Minister’s Council, Europol and the Pompidou Group also addressed the meeting to share their experiences and good practice.