Massive heroin seizure by Pakistani authorities

29 July 2010

Massive heroin seizure by Pakistani authorities

Brussels, 29 July 2010

Press Release

A recent seizure by Pakistani officials of 90 kilograms of heroin in a container shipment bound for Europe is the largest to date in a number of significant seizures made by the Port Control Unit in Karachi since the team was created under the auspices of the joint UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP). Units of the CCP are trained by experts from WCO Member Customs administrations with the support of UNODC personnel to profile containers on the basis of WCO risk indicators.

The initial sites for CCP implementation in Pakistan were the container terminals in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest and busiest seaport and Port Qasim but now include an additional seven inland container terminals. To date seizures made by the two port-based teams total: 240 kg of Heroin; 18 tons of Cannabis; 30 tons of acetic anhydride (the main precursor chemical for the production of heroin); 56 tons of opium poppy seed; 74 tons of white lentil seeds (under export embargo); and 30 containers loaded with high sulphur diesel oil misdeclared to avoid payment of Customs duty totalling 200000 US Dollars as well as containers stuffed with expired foodstuffs.

“Our joint CCP approach of integrating several law enforcement agencies into one single unit has proven effective as it enables more direct and real-time exchange of operational information and brings together different competencies and strengths into one team,” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

The CCP was launched in 2003 to improve maritime container security and is in-line with the WCO strategies for fighting transnational organized crime and combating criminal activities. It focuses on improving border enforcement methods and practices through training and fosters cooperation and collaboration between different law enforcement agencies.

Government authorities operating at ports are provided focused capacity building assistance by the WCO with the support of the UNODC in establishing profiling systems and in using modern control and risk management techniques to detect illegal goods in containers without causing disruption to normal flows of legitimate commerce.

Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal and Turkmenistan currently participate in the CCP which has proven to be a successful joint venture between the WCO and the UNODC.