UNODC-WCO-INTERPOL Airport Communication Project

AIRCOP - Airport Communication Project is a multi-agency initiative, based on cooperation between UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) that aims to create operational groups to strengthen the capacities of participating international airports in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East to detect and seize drugs, other illicit goods and high-risk passengers, including foreign terrorist combatants, in countries of origin, transit and destination, with the main objective of dismantling illicit criminal networks. Therefore, AIRCOP is a key component for an integrated approach to border control administration.

AIRCOP was originally designed in 2010 as part of the European Union's Cocaine Route Programme, which seeks to combat transnational organized crime along the route to cocaine trafficking in passengers, cargo and mail, from countries of origin in Latin America, through the Caribbean and Africa, to Europe. The programme is funded by the European Union through the Instrument for Stability and Peace. It also receives financial contributions from Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States of America.

The increased capacity and knowledge of the trained staff has led to an expansion of the project's scope to cover the multiple threats that target airports, including illicit drugs, illicit goods (such as wildlife, counterfeit drugs or weapons) and, finally, terrorism and human trafficking.


AIRCOP in Brazil

Brazil officially joined the AIRCOP Project as an Associate Country in 2016 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Police of Brazil, thereby incorporating the INTERCOPS Project, based at the Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, into the AIRCOP network. While the AIRCOP MoU was signed with the Federal Police of Brazil, cooperation has also been established with the Federal Customs Department. AIRCOP cooperation with the INTERCOPS project and Brazil Customs has flourished in recent years through collaboration in capacity building activities, and information sharing between the networks, including through AIRCOP’s secure communication network CENcomm, which has led to favourable results. Likewise, collaboration has not been limited to the Latin America and Caribbean region. INTERCOPS and Brazil Customs have collaborated with AIRCOP JAITFs in Africa and the Middle East, contributing in important ways to AIRCOP capacity building activities across the globe.

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