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UNODC facilitates drug interdiction and detection training in San Salvador, El Salvador in the framework of the EU funded AIRCOP Project

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted the first AIRCOP (Airport Communication Project) basic training in San Salvador, El Salvador from 26 September to 7 October 2016, for 24 law enforcement officials from the National Civil Police, the Customs Department and the Immigration Department. The training took place at the Headquarters of INTERPOL's Regional Office for Central America in San Salvador. AIRCOP is funded by the European Union as part of the EU Cocaine Route Programme, and is implemented by UNODC in collaboration with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The first week of training was conducted by an expert from the French Interdepartmental Anti-Drug Training Center (CIFAD) based in Fort de France, Martinique, and covered methods to fight drug trafficking by air, targeting and risk profiling of passengers and luggage, collection and exchange of information, interview techniques, forgery of documents and criminal network analysis, with a strong emphasis on air cargo interdiction. During the second week of training, the participants received a specialized training on the use of INTERPOL's I-24/7 global police communication system, from an expert at INTERPOL's Regional Office for Central America, as well as on the use of WCO's communication system known as CENcomm, from an instructor at WCO's Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) in Argentina. The inauguration ceremony of the training was attended by Commissioner Andrés Alexander Ramírez, Executive Director of the National Anti-Drug Commission, which is in charge of the implementation of AIRCOP in El Salvador, and Ms. Monica Mendoza, Head of the UNODC Country Office in El Salvador.

AIRCOP is a multi-agency, anti-trafficking initiative which strengthens detection, interdiction and investigative capacities of law-enforcement officials in participating airports. Currently, there are 26 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean that are participating in the project. One of the main objectives of the training will be to set up a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF), a multi-agency drug detection team that will work to curb transnational organized crime and staunch the flow of illicit drugs to Europe. The JAITF will have a fully equipped office at Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez International Airport, where it is expected to begin operations soon.