On Thursday 22 February, UNODC and the Government of Bolivia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementing AIRCOP in the country, reiterating their commitment to combat transnational organized crime at international airports. Bolivia is the tenth country in Latin America and the Caribbean to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UNODC for implementing AIRCOP.
By establishing a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF), the project will improve detection and interdiction capacities at Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, the largest in Bolivia in terms of passenger flow (1,500 per day) and cargo transit (800 tons per month). As part of the global AIRCOP network, the airport will be connected to international law enforcement databases and communication systems provided by INTERPOL and WCO, facilitating real time intelligence and information exchange with other international airports.
The JAITF at Viru Viru airport will be composed of 18 officials from different law enforcement agencies including INTERPOL, Migration, Airport Security Police, Customs and the Special Force to Fight Drug Trafficking. Next steps include equipping the JAITF office at the airport and delivering training on detection of illicit goods in air cargo.
The MoU signing ceremony took place in La Paz with the participation of the Minister for Government of Bolivia, Mr Carlos Romero; Mr Thierry Rostan, UNODC Representative in Bolivia, the Executive President of the National Customs, Ms Marlene Ardaya; and HE the Ambassador of the European Union, Mr León de la Torre.