Algeria: Working with Airports on Improving the Border Security

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31st May 2018 - Algeria

In cooperation with the French Customs, the UNODC Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP) organized a training on "Profiling and Targeting of Suspicious Passengers" from 27 to 31 May 2018 in Algiers, Algeria, funded by Canada.

The workshop aimed at strengthening the detection, interdiction and investigation capacities of law enforcement agents active in Algerian international airports to more effectively target suspicious passengers. Participants from the Direction Générale des Douanes (DGD - National Customs Directorate) and the Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale (DGSN - National Safety General Directorate) attended the training including a strong presence of women in line with AIRCOP advocacy for gender equality.

The French customs expert, active at Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport, shared her experience on several topics such as the various types of passenger information (API/PNR), system access and data analysis with the participants.

The training was followed by an on-site mentoring session at Houari Boumediene International Airport. It provided the participants with hands-on experience on passenger risk assessment and targeting. The participants selected two flights arriving at Algiers airport, allowing them to use in real life the knowledge just received.

Ms. Dina Fayad, AIRCOP Regional Officer for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), assured the participants of UNODC's continued interest in cooperating with MENA countries to help securing airports and more effectively combat illicit trafficking.

The representative of the Algerian Ministry of International Affairs and the representative of the Canadian Embassy in Algeria both highlighted the importance of international cooperation in combatting transnational organized crime and terrorism.

AIRCOP, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO), aims at strengthening the capacities of international airports to detect and intercept drugs, other illicit goods and high-risk passengers (including foreign terrorist fighters), in origin, transit and destination countries. AIRCOP also promotes intelligence and information sharing between services at national and international level, as well as an intelligence-led approach to countering drug trafficking as well as other types of threats.

The project, funded by Canada, France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, the United States of America and the European Union, was initially designed in 2010 as part of the European Union's Cocaine Route Programme. Since then, it has expanded its scope to cover multiple threats targeting airports, including all illicit drugs, other illicit goods (such as wildlife, counterfeit medicine or weapons) and most recently terrorism and trafficking in persons. The project has also expanded its geographical coverage and its network currently covers over 30 countries, including 24 airports with a JAITF and 5 associate countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.