Mozambique: Seizures of cocaine and diamonds as a result of AIRCOP training

On 8 June 2018, the future Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Maputo International Airport (Mozambique), which will form part of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP) network, concluded its initial training provided by Brazilian Federal Police and UNODC experts.

Thanks to the qualitative training received, law enforcement officials at the airport made three seizures, including a seizure of undeclared diamonds from a Chinese national and two seizures of cocaine from Ivoirian and Nigerian nationals. These operations took place during the training course, which, among other issues, helped the Mozambican national officers obtain a better understanding of law enforcement concepts and techniques, itineraries and modus operandi of drug traffickers. The training also covered relevant legal framework and professional human-rights based standards of privacy and integrity, in performing interdiction and investigation functions.

The training was the first step towards the establishment of the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Maputo International Airport (Mozambique), which will form part of the UNODC Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP).

Additional training and mentoring activities will soon be provided upon signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the different agencies to be part of the future JAITF, under the coordination of the Gabinete Central Por Combate a Droga (GCPCD - Office to Combat and Prevent Drug Use).

 The training closing ceremony was attended by Dr. Alfredo Dimande, Director of the GCPCD and AIRCOP focal point in Mozambique; Mr. Geert Anckaert, representing the EU Delegation in Mozambique; Mr. Felipe Lemos, First Secretary at the Embassy of Brazil; and Mr. Thierry Thimon, UNODC AIRCOP Regional coordinator for Africa.

The high-level attendance is a positive sign for the future of the JAITF in Maputo, showcasing a strong political buy-in of national authorities and law enforcement agencies. Implementation in Mozambique is also an essential step for AIRCOP's future development along major trafficking routes in Eastern and Southern Africa.


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 was initially designed in 2010 as part of the European Union's Cocaine Route Programme and since then, 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.