AIRCOP helps Mali strengthen capacity to tackle drug trafficking

In the framework of the AIRCOP project, the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) of Bamako airport seized over 10kg of heroin concealed in two pieces of luggage which belonged to an inbound female passenger.

The recent drug seizures carried out by law enforcement officers in Mali (more than 100kg of cannabis were intercepted in June) as well as the arrest last May of Ibrahim Madani Ba, drug lord and key figure in the trade of cocaine and heroin in Bamako, illustrate the crucial role that West Africa, notably the Sahel, occupies as a transit route for drug trafficking from South America to Europe.

AIRCOP has managed to reduce this threat in Mali and across the region by strengthening real-time cooperation between international airports in Africa and by providing in-depth trainings on drug concealment, detection and identification techniques, as well as passenger targeting and threat analysis to the Bamako JAITFs, involving the Police, Gendarmerie, Customs, immigration officers and airport authorities.

Since 2014, through its Sahel Programme, UNODC has undertaken 87 activities in the country, benefiting to 2.853 law enforcement and justice officials.