AIRCOP fights drug trafficking

On the World Drug Day, 26 June 2019, the fight against drug trafficking should be recognized and promoted more than ever.

As part of the Cocaine Route Programme the Airport Communication Project - AIRCOP - is active in the fight against drug trafficking. So far, the 24 AIRCOP Joint Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs) intercepted 19 tons of drugs including cocaine, heroin, cannabis, methamphetamine, amphetamine and khat.

Africa region registered the highest amount of seizures with 11,5 tons, with drugs transiting through the region to/from Europe and Asia, but also increasingly being consumed locally especially pharmaceuticals opioids such as tramadol while seizures of drugs have increased in Africa including cocaine, heroin and amphetamine, posing concerns regarding the consumption of drugs within the continent. Latin America and the Caribbean registered the highest amount of cocaine seizures with 5,6 tons, as main cocaine producer countries are located in this region to be transported all around the globe.


30 kg of cocaine intercepted at Santa Cruz, Bolivia, international airport


8 kg of ecstasy seized in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, coming from Brussels, Belgium

In concrete terms, AIRCOP, jointly implemented by UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO), aims at strengthening the detection and interdiction of all types of illegal goods, including drugs, as well as high-risk passengers at selected international airports by supporting inter-agency cooperation, encouraging real-time communication and promoting an intelligence led-approach. These objectives are reached through the delivery of trainings and mentoring, the organisation of good practice exchanges participation and joint operations and the use of communication tools such as INTERPOL I-24/7 and WCO CENcomm.

Since its creation, AIRCOP delivered 316 training and mentoring to 5097 personnel staff including 706 women in partnership with INTERPOL, WCO, INTERCOPS - the Brazilian federal Police, the French Customs, as well as other bilateral agencies (such as the Italian Guardia di Finanza), EUROPOL, AMERIPOL and the UNODC-INTERPOL-Transparency International CRIMJUST project (also part of the Cocaine Route Programme).




Air border management is an essential issue as the fight against drug trafficking implies the control of borders to hinder drugs transportation and improve security at international airports. The interception of illicit shipments has a positive impact specifically for destination countries as less drugs will swamp national markets.

While AIRCOP JAITFs were initially located along the cocaine route, further seizures and interceptions of other drugs revealed new modus operandi and routes which oriented the expansion of AIRCOP towards East and South Africa, and in the coming months to South Eastern Europe and Asia.

By contributing to the fight against drug trafficking at the crucial stage of transportation, AIRCOP is committed to a world free from drugs and to the promotion of #Health4Justice.Justice4Health for the World Drug Day 2019. In that matter, AIRCOP does not only strengthen airport drug controls capabilities but also takes part in the global chain of drug interdiction.

For more information:

AIRCOP Project

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AIRCOP is part of the Cocaine Route Programme