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Programme Global Shield expands to monitor movements of detonators in its efforts to combat the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)

26 junio 2015

Since its inception in 2011, the WCO’s Programme Global Shield has been monitoring 14 explosive precursor chemicals that can be used to manufacture IEDs. This has resulted in participating Customs administrations seizing more than 347 metric tons of solid precursor chemicals and 139,000 litres of liquid precursor chemicals - materials that would otherwise have been used to manufacture hundreds of IEDs.

The threat of IEDs, however, has not diminished. In 2014, over 17,098 civilians were killed or injured in IED attacks while, in 2011, this figure was 13,340. Civilian casualties resulting from IEDs thus rose by 28% in three years. This increased IED threat has prompted the Programme to add detonators to its list of items to be monitored.

Commercially manufactured detonators are the component of choice for violent criminals or extremists and are required for the construction and functioning of an IED. Controlling bombmakers’ access to these detonators is another critical element in combating IEDs. As such, safety fuses, detonating fuses, percussion or detonating caps, igniters and electric detonators are now being added to the list of items monitored under the Programme.

As is the case with the 14 precursor chemicals already included in the Programme, the addition of commercially manufactured detonators to the list means that Customs administrations can focus on preventing the cross-border diversion and trafficking of these items. This will also allow Customs to use extended investigation measures to uncover these items’ true end use, in order to stop them from falling into the wrong hands.

Programme Global Shield continues to support participants by offering capacity building and technical assistance in its quest to save lives and limbs.

For more information regarding Programme Global Shield, please contact globalshield@wcoomd.org.