UNODC and Paraguay sign interagency agreement to counter drug trafficking

19 October, 2011 - The National Customs Department of Paraguay, the National Antidrug Secretariat, the National Police, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Global Container Control Programme in Paraguay.

The reference document states that the signing institutions have the common interest of improving public safety, and share the purpose of preventing the use of legitimate shipping containers for activities mainly related to trafficking of drugs, precursors, smuggling of goods, intellectual property crimes, potential acts of terrorism, money laundering, among other crimes.

In its preamble, the MoU points out that this initiative is being promoted due to the recent increase of this global criminal phenomenon, and therefore the country must take steps to prevent the consolidation of organized crime in its territory.

The cooperation agreement aims to optimize the preventive actions that take place in the country's ports, regarding operations performed with shipping containers in order to decrease their use for illegal activities.

The agreement establishes a Joint Control Unit aiming at strengthening the control of containers at national level, improving interagency coordination, increasing the analysis and exchange of information in real time in order to avoid the overlapping of efforts and to facilitate legitimate trade. The Joint Control Unit will be located in the Offices of the National Customs Department in the capital.

This unit will consist of seven people representing three signing institutions of the MoU: three operating officers of the National Customs Department, two of the National Police, and two of the Antidrug Secretariat. The agreement is effective immediately after the signing of this document and will last for 3 years, renewable.

Source: National Customs Department of Paraguay

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