On 24 May 2016, the Government of Argentina signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the implementation of the AIRCOP at Ezeiza International Airport.
Argentina becomes the fifth country in Latin America and the Caribbean to sign a MoU with UNODC for the implementation of AIRCOP, joining the Dominican Republic, Panama, Jamaica and Barbados. The MoU paves the way for Ezeiza International Airport, one of the most important and busiest airports in South America with more than 9.1 million passengers in 2015, to connect to international law enforcement databases and communication networks, provided by INTERPOL and WCO, enabling the real-time transmission of operational information and intelligence to other international airports, with the objective of intercepting illicit shipments.
The MoU signing ceremony, which took place at Ezeiza International Airport, was attended by high level officials of the Government of Argentina, including the Minster of Security and the Federal Public Revenue Administrator. The EU was represented by the Head of the EU Delegation to Argentina, and UNODC was represented by the AIRCOP Project Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Through AIRCOP, a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF), composed of officials from the Airport Security Police (PSA), Argentine Federal Police (PFA), Argentine Tax and Customs Authority (AFIP) and INTERPOL Argentina, was set up in Feburary 2016 at Ezeiza International Airport. The JAITF has already received drug interdiction training and risk profiling in passengers and cargo from the Spanish National Police and the French Interdepartmental Anti-Drug Training Center (CIFAD) based in Fort de France, Martinique.
The next step will be to equip an office for the JAITF at the airport and connect it to other JAITFs in 26 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, which have recorded impressive results to date, with 649 seizures and arrests, including 1,378 kg of cocaine, 1,117 kg of cannabis, 773 kg of methamphetamine and over 3M US dollars.