Signature of a Letter of Agreement between UNODC and the Government of Mozambique for the establishment of a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force at Maputo airport

A Letter of Agreement (LoA) was signed on Friday 16 February between Mozambique and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the establishment of a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) at Maputo international airport.

With the signature of the LoA, Mozambique will become the 16th country in Africa to launch the establishment of a Task Force in the framework of AIRCOP, initially developed in 2010 and financed by the European Union under its Cocaine Route Programme.

Mozambique started collaborating with AIRCOP in 2016, when a joint assessment mission was conducted by UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and coordinated at the national level by GCPCD (“Gabinete Central de Prevenção e Combate a Droga”). Following the mission, and under the GCPCD coordination, officers of national law enforcement agencies were identified for secondment to the future task force, including staff from the National Brigade to Combat Drugs and Migration, Customs, and State Security Services (SISE).

The Letter of Agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique and the UNODC Regional Representative for Southern Africa, in the presence of the acting Head of the European Union Delegation in Mozambique

This LoA will form the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding that will be signed promptly, between the different agencies involved and under GCPCD coordination, to create the JAITF.

This task force will help Mozambique in improving the management of its borders thanks to officers trained on the latest techniques of profiling and targeting suspicious passengers, cargo and postal parcels and the equipment provided by AIRCOP.