A Conference on Cocaine Trafficking via containers has been hosted in The Hague by Europol (Focal Point COLA) on 11-12 December 2013, to examine the notable decline in maritime cocaine seizures and increase in container seizures. Focusing on major organised crime groups (OCGs) using this method of cocaine trafficking, the conference drew participants from all EU Member States, non-EU countries (USA, Colombia, Iceland, Australia) and two partner organisations (Interpol, WCO).
The aim of the event was to increase situational awareness, to facilitate the exchange of information about the problem and to develop a common, multi-disciplinary approach between the participating countries and organisations in tackling this problem, thus more effectively disrupting major international organised crime groups using this mode of transport.
The conference agenda covered a wide variety of subjects, including the delivery of national, regional and international overviews, key EU tools, current and future projects, main challenges and opportunities for law enforcement cooperation. Experts’ presentations helped participants to understand current issues regarding the most prominent ‘Rip-off Rip-on’ technique used by OCGs.
In order to increase the identification, prevention and tackling of such serious crime, Europol is considered the primary facilitating tool for the collection, exchange and analysis of the respective criminal intelligence and coordinating of Member States’ operations.
The creation of partnerships amongst law enforcement agencies, strategic and operational agreements in South America and the commitment of European countries that are considered key players, will help to further prioritise the gathering of information and coordination of joint actions, to ultimately increase their impact and results.