Law enforcement officers of the AIRCOP/CCP interagency units in South-Eastern Europe on study visits and mentorships

6 February-24 March 2023, South-Eastern Europe: UNODC organized three study visits and three mentorship visits for law enforcement officers of the joint AIRCOP/CCP inter-agency units of Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, and North Macedonia. The capacity building activities, jointly implemented by the UNODC-INTERPOL-WCO Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP) and UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), included exchange visits to the airports of Prague, Czech Republic; Zagreb, Croatia; and Sofia, Bulgaria with follow up mentorship visits of Czech, Croatian and Bulgarian customs officers and CCP/WCO experts to the airports of Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje.

In total 38 customs and police officers from South-Eastern Europe benefited from the structured learning activities aimed at strengthening cooperation among airports in the European Union and South-Eastern Europe. The mentorship and exchange visits included practical exercises and exchange of best practices and methodologies. The blend of offsite and onsite activities was comprised of discussions on airport operations, risk analysis, profiling and Passenger Name Record (PNR) use, airport crime, checking daily outbound flights, drug-sniffing dogs, passenger control, airplane and baggage control, observation and surveillance of passengers and targets as well as discussions among officers with regard to drug trafficking, trafficking of counterfeit goods, smuggling trends and methods.

The activities were conducted within the framework of the joint EU-UNODC action on promoting the rule of law and good governance through targeted border control measures at ports and airports implemented by AIRCOP and CCP in cooperation with the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and generously funded by the European Union.

This activity contributes to SDG 16, particularly SDG 16.a, on strengthening relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels and in particular, in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime.