Europol has revealed the results of an action week led by Spain, targeting drug trafficking via airports and focusing on checks of passenger and cargo traffic on direct and connecting flights, mainly from the Americas. The action week, which took place at 61 airports between December 11 and 18, 2023, also involved Frontex, Interpol and law enforcement authorities from 36 countries. Interpol participated through project AIRCOP, a multi-agency project implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in partnership with Interpol and the World Customs Organization. It aims to strengthen the capacity of international airports to target and intercept high-risk passengers, cargo and mail.
The December checks, which took place at 29 airports in Europe and 32 airports across Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, aimed to detect the possession or trafficking of drugs, especially cocaine, originating from Latin America. Another objective was to enhance the cooperation between police and customs authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.
The operational phase, focusing on the intensification of security at airports, followed a preliminary intelligence phase that involved analysis of information related to drug trafficking flows, the identification of possible suspects and their modus operandi, and the development of coordinated activities to be carried out during the action week.
A total of 46 arrests were made during the operation. Seizures included 356,464kg of cannabis, 354,209kg of cocaine, 37kg of synthetic drugs and 101,559kg of other drugs.
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