Afghan Customs seizes 14.5 tonnes of ammonium nitrate

06 July 2016

On 4 July 2016, officers of the Afghan Customs (dry) Port Control Unit in Kabul, established in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, detected and seized,14.5 tonnes of ammonium nitrate concealed in a load of potatoes from Pakistan.

Ammonium Nitrate is one of the most common chemicals used to produce Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) by terrorist groups. This precursor chemical is on the list of the 14 chemicals monitored in the WCO Programme Global Shield.

Officers involved in this seizure had also participated in the training provided by the WCO Programme Global Shield, and were therefore able to determine the nature of the chemical concealed. The training on risk profiling, provided in the framework of the Container Control Programme, enabled the officers to identify this suspicious shipment and to perform its seizure.

These 14.5 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate would have been sufficient to produce hundreds of bombs with the potential to injure or kill many people. The UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme and the WCO Programme Global Shield have forged a strong partnership in this region.