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The Container Control Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean signs SOP in Panama

/images/ropan/CCP/CCP_INTRO_PIC_WITH_BORDER.jpg?1431449550097The Global Container Control Programme signed its first Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in Panama with the objective of establishing the administrative, operational and safety guidelines required for the analysis of materials in shipping containers which pass through the ports of the Republic of Panama participating in the CCP Programme.

The Container Control Programme is an initiative was created 10 years ago to assist Governments in the creation of sustainable implementation structures in select maritime ports to reduce the risk of maritime containers being exploited and utilized for the illegal trafficking of drugs, organized crime and other illicit activities.

Joint Ports Control Units (JPCUs) are at the forefront of this innovative approach, facilitating collaboration between institutions in participating ports. The JPCUs are composed of analysts who are equipped and trained to work together with the purpose of scientifically and systematically carrying out risk profiles of containers that may represent a threat by the illicit trafficking of drugs or counterfeit products, committing fiscal fraud, or other such crimes.

The SOP applies to all officials of the JPCUs which have been delegated as staff analysts by the Institutions that are part of the CCP, as has been stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Panama and UNODC for the implementation of the Programme.  

The SOP was signed by Mr. José Gómez Núñez, Director General of the National Authority of Customs of Panama, and Mr. Bob Van den Berghe, UNODC Project Coordinator of the CCP for Latin America and the Caribbean, in the presence of Mr. Ketil Ottersen, Global Coordinator of the Container Control Programme, Mr. Norbert Steilen, Coordinator of the WCO for CCP, Mr. Joshymon Ernakeril of UNODC, and Mr. Ivor Pitti of UNODC ROPAN.  The National Authority of Customs was represented by Mr. Vidal del Mar, Technical General Subdirector, Mr. Humberto Macea, Deputy Director of General Logistics, Mrs. Delia Castro, Head of the Technical Unit of Containers and Luz Zamora, Head of the Office of Risk Analysis.

It is noteworthy to mention that the records of the National Customs Authority regarding the Container Control Programme indicate that this Programme managed to seize a total of 2,675 kilos of cocaine during the year 2014 in the main ports of the country.  The value of these seizures in the European market can be estimated at EURO 173,875,000.00 and in the North American market at US$. 107,000,000.00.

The total weight of drugs seized in various Customs control points was 3,335 kilograms of cocaine, mostly destined for the European market, with an approximate value of USD 216,775,000.00.