UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme Conducts Series of "Mentorships" in Central Asia

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) organized a series of mentorship programmes aimed at strengthening professional capacity and expertise of the members of Port Control Units (PCU) in "Morport" Customs post (Kazakhstan), Bishkek Customs Central Apparatus and Osh South-Western Customs (Kyrgyz Republic), and "Alat" Customs post (Uzbekistan) during October-November. The PCUs operate under the UNODC-World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme in Central Asia.

On 23-26 October 2018, officers from the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan - members of PCU at "Morport" Customs post in Aktau seaport had an opportunity to update their knowledge and share experience on successful cases of illicit goods seizures based on innovative profiling approaches. They also practiced risks analysis of consignments imported, transited and exported through "Morport" and "Kuryk" sea ports and examined high risk containers guided by an experienced WCO expert.

During the event, UNODC ROCA handed over IT and communication tools and a video endoscope to the PCU at "Morport" Customs post.

"Frontline Customs officers of the PCU in Aktau seaport demonstrated outstanding results this year. In 2018, they seized a record number of smuggled cigarettes with total value of more than 5.5 million U.S. dollars." - highlighted Mr. Batyr Geldiyev, UNODC Regional Programme Coordinator.

From 29 October to 2 November 2018, PCU members from the State Customs Service of the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Apparatus in Bishkek and in the South-Western Customs in Osh updated their skills and knowledge on profiling of high-risk consignments, usage of ContainerComm, methods of drugs concealment in the vehicle/trucks. The PCU members reviewed the shipping documents at the Customs Office at the "Alamedin" railway station and visited the land terminal for cargo trucks for practical profiling purposes.

During the mentorship in Osh, frontline Customs officers - members of the PCU in South-Western Customs shared information and pictures on seizure cases made at the local international airport. In addition, WCO expert and the PCU members had opportunity to visit land terminal and inspect the arrested vehicles and seized by the PCU goods including cigarettes, alcohol products and mis-declared goods.

On 20-23 November 2018, twelve officers of the State Customs Committee and Border Force of the State Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the mentoring programme on profiling high-risk consignments as well as search techniques of cargo/container trucks for at the "Alat" customs post (Uzbek-Turkmen border) in Bukhara region of Uzbekistan. The training was organized in partnership with the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (UK NCA) and is part of the ongoing cooperation between CCP and UK NCA. A series of capacity building measures aimed at establishing a dedicated PCU in "Alat" Customs post is envisaged within the framework of the cooperation.

British experts shared their experience and best practices in profiling of high-risk consignments, effective targeting system of freight/container, the latest and sophisticated concealment methods of drugs and other illicit goods with Uzbek colleagues. The event covered various practical exercises on different types of smuggling via container, railroad/truck transport and provided a good opportunity for trainees to apply their knowledge related to risk profiling techniques, analysis of customs documentation and examination in practice.

In particular, during the training Uzbek Customs services granted trainees and trainers with an access to the national database and live shipping documents for profiling purposes, as well as for containers/trucks search and inspection.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the Government of Japan and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme.

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