On 8 June 2018, the future Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Maputo International Airport (Mozambique) concluded its initial training provided by Brazilian Federal Police and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) experts. The training was the first step towards the establishment of the JAITF. Additional training and mentoring activities will be provided upon the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the different agencies to become part of the JAITF under the coordination of the Gabinete Central Por Combate a Droga (GCPCD – Office to Combat and Prevent Drug Use).
As a result of the qualitative training received, law enforcement officials at the airport made three seizures, including undeclared diamonds from a Chinese national and cocaine from Ivorian and Nigerian nationals.
The training helped the Mozambican officers obtain a better understanding of law enforcement concepts and techniques, itineraries and modus operandi of drug traffickers, and also of relevant legal frameworks and professional human-rights based standards of privacy and integrity in performing interdiction and investigation functions.
The training closing ceremony was attended by Dr. Alfredo Dimande, Director of the GCPCD and AIRCOP focal point in Mozambique; Mr. Geert Anckaert, representing the EU Delegation in Mozambique; Mr. Felipe Lemos, First Secretary at the Embassy of Brazil; and Mr. Thierry Thimon, UNODC AIRCOP Regional coordinator for Africa.
The high-level attendance is a positive sign for the future of the JAITF in Maputo, showcasing a strong political buy-in of national authorities and law enforcement agencies. Implementation in Mozambique is also an essential step for AIRCOP’s future development along major trafficking routes in Eastern and Southern Africa.