WCO and the UNODC sign a Memorandum of Understanding to implement Project AIRCOP

23 March 2010

WCO and the UNODC sign a Memorandum of Understanding to implement Project AIRCOP

Brussels, 22 March 2010


Project AIRCOP, which is being funded by the European Commission, coordinated by the UNODC and implemented by the WCO and Interpol in close cooperation with WCO Members from the West Africa region, Morocco, Brazil and the relevant RILOs, seeks to build drug enforcement capacities in some ten or so international airports in these countries.

AIRCOP is aimed at improving inter-service coordination through the establishment of Airport Anti-Trafficking Units (AATUs), the provision of training on targeting, research and inspection methods and, finally, the development of international cooperation through the use of real-time secure communication systems and access to international databases.

Intended to test the AIRCOP mechanism, Operation COCAIR 2 – which follows on from the pilot Operation COCAIR 1 carried out in December 2008 in West and Central Africa – is to be rolled out in the first half of 2010. It is divided into three phases:

  • Adaptation and use of CENcomm (the WCO’s operational communication tool);
  • Setting up of an Operational Coordination Unit (OCU) established in Dakar (Senegal);
  • Training of officers from the different services taking part in the operation and providing them with detection kits.

In order to officially cement the collaboration established between the WCO and the UNODC, and to organize the funding of Operation COCAIR 2 and the adaptation of the CENcomm tool, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa Alexandre Schmidt signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Working Group organized by the European Commission on 22 March 2010 on the “Fight against organized crime in air and sea cocaine routes”.