Organized crime groups have long focused on speeding up transportation of drugs and other illicit goods by using ships, containers or aircrafts and have been able to transport even larger amounts across the globe. As the global number of air passengers is expected to double in the coming 20 years, the growing connectivity offered by airlines is prone to exploitation by high-risk passengers.
Despite efforts being made, many countries still lack the technical and technological capabilities to undertake comprehensive and efficient profiling, inspections of luggage, or body checks without impacting the smooth operations of commercial airports. In addition, the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies in source, transit and destination countries is often inexistent.
AIRCOP is a multi-agency project implemented by UNODC in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO). It aims at strengthening the capacities of international airports to target and intercept high-risk passengers, cargo and mail, as a contribution to the fight against illicit drugs and other illicit commodities (such as wildlife products or falsified medical products), terrorism-related threats (such as arms or potential foreign terrorist fighters), trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. It also aims at facilitating communication and coordination between origin, transit and destination countries to disrupt cross-border illicit flows and criminal networks.
AIRCOP is implemented in 41 airports in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, South-Eastern Europe and South-East Asia.
AIRCOP also receives funding from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands,
Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.