Bissau-Guinean authorities achieve largest ever drug seizure in the history of Guinea-Bissau

On 9 March 2019, the government of Guinea Bissau seized 789 kg of cocaine as a result of operation "CARAPAU" led by the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) and the Judicial Police of Guinea-Bissau. The drug was found in a false bottom of a truck loaded with frozen fish known as CARAPAU.

The Government of Guinea-Bissau showed renewed commitment and leadership in successfully conducting this operation and expediting the incineration of the seized drugs which took place on 14 March 2019 in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Interior, the General Director of the Judicial Police, the TCU, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), the UN Resident Coordinator, UNODC and the Diplomatic Corps.

In his speech, the United Nations Resident Coordinator congratulated the government of Guinea-Bissau and encouraged law enforcement officers to continue providing strong and effective security interventions that will keep Guinea-Bissau safe from the perils of drug trafficking and its impact on the society in general.  

Incineration of the seized drugs - 14 March 2019

This seizure, done on the day before the legislative elections, represents the highest ever seizure in the country, known to be particularly targeted by international drug traffickers, with two major seizures of over 600 kg in 2006 and 2007. This vulnerability of the country drew the attention of the international community. As a result, the Security Council, in resolution 2458 (2019), reiterated its concern at the threat to peace and stability posed by drug trafficking, trafficking in all forms and transnational organized crime and encouraged sustained efforts of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, UNIOGBIS and UNODC in combating these threats.

The largest seizure conducted in the country - 789 kg of cocaine

UNODC supports Bissau-Guinean authorities through a number of successful programmes. The West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI), a multi-stakeholder partnership between UNODC, UNOWAS/DPA, DPKO and INTERPOL, supported the establishment of a Transnational Crime Unit in Bissau in 2011. The Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), jointly implemented by UNODC, INTERPOL and the WCO, established a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Osvaldo Viera Airport in April 2018, which has since registered the highest number ever of cocaine seizures at Bissau airport. The UNODC Global Maritime Crime Project (GMCP) deployed a maritime law enforcement mentor to Guinea Bissau in 2018 and 2019. A joint Project between UNODC and IOM currently provides assistance to child trafficking victims in Guinea-Bissau to enhance the capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking in persons. Finally, a Cross-border Crime Project supports the enhancement of cooperation and investigation between Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia and was instrumental in this latest seizure.

UNODC remains committed to continue supporting Bissau-Guinean authorities in line with the development of UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 16 which aims to "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels."

For more information:

UNODC action against drug trafficking in West Africa

West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI)