On 29 January 2020, the rummage section of Joint Container and Ships Control Unit (UMCC) searched the “Grande Nigeria”. This vessel had previously been involved, in June 2019, in the seizure of 798 kilograms of cocaine. The search of the vessel resulted in the discovery of 4 bags carefully hidden in the vessel’s ventilation system, each of them containing 30 packages with a total weight of 120 kg.
The local press has reported on this new seizure of cocaine that is believed to be linked with previous seizures made in Dakar by the UMCC – and in particular the seizure of 750 kg of cocaine found on board the ship Adaccious intercepted by the Senegalese Navy on the 31st of October 2019.
Composed of customs, police and gendarmes officers, the UMCC in Dakar attended 3 training courses in October, November and December 2019 on vessels rummage, the targeting and control of containers and the collection of intelligence in a port environment.
Organised in the framework of SEACOP, one of the projects of the Global Illicit Flows Programme of the European Union, these training courses have been delivered to the UMCC by experts from French Customs. These courses will soon be complemented by mentoring activities.
These seizures confirm the increasing importance of West Africa to cocaine traffickers from Latin American, especially those operating from transit countries such as Uruguay.
The impact of the SEACOP project, which provides practical solutions to the problem of maritime cocaine trafficking, is confirmed by this most recent seizure made in Dakar by the UMCC on 29 January 2020.