Successful Conclusion of Operation SKY-NET II Combating Illicit Drugs and Precursor Chemicals Trafficking through Postal and Express Parcels

16 marzo 2016

Brussels, 16 March 2016

Press Release

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the China Customs and the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for Asia and the Pacific, concluded Operation SKY-NET II on 20 December 2015.

Economic globalization, especially the fast growing e-commerce, is creating surge in supply and demand and expediting the flow of capital and goods.  However, at the same time, postal and express freight sector is susceptible to being exploited for fraud and for this Operation, illicit drugs and precursor chemicals in particular.  China Customs initiated Operation SKY-NET II with an objective to strengthen the monitoring and controls on the movement of postal and express parcels, to exchange information and enhance enforcement cooperation between Customs administrations, and to collect information and statistics for evaluation and analysis.

To prepare for Operation SKY-NET II, an operational training Workshop, funded by Customs Cooperation Fund of China (CCF-China) was organized from 20 to 22 October 2015 at Shanghai Customs College.  From 7 to 27 November 2015, the main Operation was carried out, pooling a record high 108 WCO Member administrations, 10 RILOs, and 3 international organizations including INCB, INTERPOL and EUROPOL.  An Operational Coordination Unit (OCU) was set up at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and was staffed with enforcement experts from China, RILO Asia and the Pacific, RILO Middle East, Benin, Brazil and the WCO Secretariat.

Operation SKY-NET II was completed with successful results of 876 seizure cases reported by the participating WCO Members, with interception of 9,293 kg of illicit drugs and precursors, 120,000 illicit cigarettes, over USD 276,000 worth of cash, and over 50,000 items of other contraband.

Operation SKY-NET II has collected tremendous amount of useful data which will help Members to identify the smuggling trends and risk areas of the postal and express courier channels.  It has also strengthened the ties between Customs, other agencies and other stakeholders, and across the borders around the world.  The Operation has given a good analysis and an overview of the global situation which could assist country leaders, policy makers and law enforcement agencies in their self-assessment and future steering of enforcement focus.