International maritime enforcement operation “Sports Bag-2”

27 九月 2018

In the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, a two-week international operational exercise with the code name “Sports bag-2”, designed to fight the phenomenon of "Rip on and Rip off" (contamination of licit containerized shipments with drugs), was conducted in the second quarter of 2018.

In total, 44 countries, 13 National Targeting Centres and 52 seaports participated in this intercontinental operation.

The strategic objectives of this operation focused on:

  • Enhancing operational cooperation and information exchange among the participating countries and seaports;
  • Identifying new smuggling trends, improving risk profiling and inspection techniques;
  • Promoting practical cooperation among different law enforcement agencies and trade stakeholders affected by this phenomenon.

In the framework of Operation ‘Sports bag-2’, 14 seizures were reported; a total of 5814 kilograms of cocaine was seized. The operation also created awareness amongst WCO members not yet affected by this phenomenon and improved the risk profiling and enforcement techniques used.

The UNODC – WCO Container Control Programme is currently operational in 50 countries and has initiated activities in another 8 countries. Since its inception in 2004, the Programme led to significantly increased detections and seizures of drugs and other illicit goods.

The  risk profiling and control work of the (Joint) Port Control Units established in the framework of the CCP  resulted (since the start of the programme) in the seizure of 240.5 tons of cocaine, 6 tons of heroin, 1634 tons of drug precursors, 69 tons of cannabis products and 750 container loads of counterfeit goods. In addition, 1518 other cases of  illicit trade were reported, ranging from weapons, dual use / strategic goods, hazardous waste, Cites species, millions of cigarettes, spirits, stolen cars and motorcycles, expired and substandard pharmaceuticals and detections of falsely declared goods to avoid payment of Customs duties.

These significant results clearly underline the potential of the concept and training delivery provided in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme.