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The Dominican Republic becomes the first regional country to simultaneously adopt both the CCP and AIRCOP 

... On Thursday 10 October 2013, the Dominican Republic became the first country in the Americas to simultaneously join the  UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP)  and the  UNODC-INTERPOL-WCO Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP) . In a strategic effort to consolidate and improve security at both maritime and air ports, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police participated with UNODC in a ceremony which marked the official signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of each initiative. Both multi-agency initiatives are designed to support national authorities in increasing their capacities for detection, interdiction and investigation at the borders and the signing of the MoUs paves the way for the establishment of Port Control Units (PCUs) in the maritime ports of Haina and Caucedo, as well as a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) in Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo.

Situated between some of the major producer and consumer countries, the geographical location of the Dominican Republic has proven to be of strategic logistic importance and, with its ports facing increasing threats from transnational organized crime, the county has become increasingly vulnerable to drug trafficking from South America to North America and Europe, as well as to other illicit activities of transnational organized crime.

The PCUs of CCP and JAITFs of AIRCOP will strengthen container controls at sea ports and passenger controls at the airport. Both the CCP and AIRCOP will improve coordination; increase the capacity for real time analysis and exchange of information; and allow for the sharing of human and technical resources so as to avoid duplication of activities, while facilitating safe and lawful trade. Two week training programmes for each initiative will be held in the coming months and the PCUs are expected to become operational in early 2014.

The CCP was launched by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO) in 2006 with the aim of enhancing the capacity of Member States for the inspection and detection of illicit goods transported via maritime containers. Since its inception, the programme has achieved remarkable results, with increased effectiveness in different countries ranging from 500% to over 4000% in regard to various kinds of crime. The programme has experienced rapid expansion in Latin America, with significant successes in the PCUs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay, and more recently in the Caribbean countries of Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica.

In a global effort to improve and strengthen national, regional and international security, over 30 JPCUs have been implemented and made operational in 18 countries worldwide, many of which are located in major illicit drug producing regions and/or are situated along maritime trade routes used to transport illicit drugs, precursor chemicals and other illicit activities.

In a similar effort, in 2010, UNODC, WCO and INTERPOL collaborated to design and implement the Airport Communication Programme: "Establishment of real-time operational communication between international airports in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean" (AIRCOP). Through interconnected anti-narcotics initiatives based on intelligence, AIRCOP aims to disrupt those illicit networks responsible for transporting illegal drugs and other illicit products, at either the point of origin and/or in transit.

AIRCOP currently operates JAITFs in several Member States in Africa and is in the early stages of implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Development of the programme in Latin America and the Caribbean will continue throughout the coming months, targeting those Member States being exploited as a corridor for organized crime and drug trafficking.

 

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