Maputo - 16 February 2018

Signature of a Letter of Agreement between UNODC and the Government of Mozambique for the establishment of a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force at Maputo airport.


A Letter of Agreement (LoA) has been signed on Friday 16 February between Mozambique and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the establishment of a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Maputo international airport.

With the signature of the LoA, Mozambique will become the 16th country in Africa to launch the establishment of a Task Force in the framework of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), initially developed in 2010 and financed by the European Union under its Cocaine Route Programme.

AIRCOP is a multi-agency project jointly implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation (WCO). In addition to the EU funding through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, AIRCOP also receives additional contributions from Canada, Norway, Japan and the United States of America.

AIRCOP supports the governments of 33 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East in strengthening the capacities of their international airports to detect and intercept drugs, other illicit goods and high-risk passengers in origin, transit and destination countries with the overall objective of disrupting the illegal criminal networks.


Mozambique started collaborating with AIRCOP in 2016, when a joint assessment mission was conducted by UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and coordinated at the national level by GCPCD ("Gabinete Central de Prevenção e Combate a Droga"). Following the mission, and under the GCPCD coordination, officers of national law enforcement agencies were identified for secondment to the future task force, including staff from the National Brigade to Combat Drugs and Migration, Customs, and State Security Services (SISE).


The Letter of Agreement (LoA) has been signed this Friday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, Mr. José Pacheco, and the UNODC Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Ms. Zhuldyz Akisheva, in the presence of Mr. Stergios Varvaroussis, acting Head of the European Union Delegation in Mozambique

This LoA will form the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding that will be signed promptly, between the different agencies involved and under GCPCD coordination, to create the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF).

This task force will help Mozambique in improving the management of its borders thanks to officers trained on the latest techniques of advanced profiling and targeting of suspicious passengers, cargo and postal parcels and the equipment provided. A full training curriculum will be delivered to the seconded officers of the JAITF.