Wednesday September 28, 2022

Air cargo control unit opens

By Our Correspondent
July 23, 2019

LAHORE : The Container Control Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Pakistan (UNODC) inaugurated its second Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.

The airport staff completed its training in March 2019, which included several weeks of theoretical and practical training, followed by advanced training on specific subjects such as strategic goods, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), and aviation security.

Once a unit has received the full package, over a time span of six months to a year, the unit is expected to be proficient in detecting and intercepting consignments containing any type of contraband, particularly restricted and/or prohibited goods.

The establishment of this unit was made possible with the financial support of Japan and the United States.

This initiative is a platform that encourages better collaboration among all national agencies which in their own areas have a mandate to ensure the security of air consignments, whether passengers/airliners’ safety or curbing illicit trade.

Since 2007 the UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organisation) Container Control Programme (CCP) has been helping the developing countries to set up inter-agency units at seaports to profile and identify high risk consignments.

The ultimate goal of the CCP Port/Airport Control Units is to effectively identify high-risk consignments with minimum interruption of legitimate trade.

This programme was launched in 2005 with pilot projects in Ecuador, Pakistan, and Senegal. Karachi was amongst the first ports to establish a (maritime) Container Control Unit.

Since its inception, the CCP programme globally has led to impressive and tangible results, including the overall seizure of over 265 tons of cocaine, six tons of heroin, 71 tons of cannabis, 1.7 thousand tons of different chemical precursors; and the detection of over 1,600 cases of IPR (intellectual property rights) and misdeclaration of goods.