An Anti-Traffic Unit with hyper-communication tools to track down drugs and criminals was officially inaugurated yesterday at the Yaounde International Airport.
Functional since 2013, the Anti-Traffic Unit at the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport which is within the European Union (EU) project dubbed “Airport Communication Project” (AIRCOP) was officially launched yesterday, October 6, 2016 by the Delegate General for National Security, Martin Mbarga-Nguele, in the presence of the Secretary of State in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European
Union in Cameroon, Françoise Collet and the Japanese Ambassador to Cameroon, Kunio Okamura.
Martin Mbarga-Nguele lauded the financial and technical support from EU and Japan in setting up such a unit with expertise from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and World Customs Organisation (WCO) amongst others. The aim of the unit is to disrupt the illegal networks that are disseminating drugs and other illicit products through smarter, more effective, well-connected and intelligence led counter-narcotic activities of participating airports. The unit which is located at the two main airports in Cameroon is out to strengthen detection, interdiction and intelligence capacities in several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The unit has two main security systems of communication: Information (I) 24/7 System from INTERPOL and the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) from WCO. These systems are connected to other units within the Airport Communication Project and this permits experts to exchange in real time information on all passengers and goods before their arrival into an airport. With the (I) 24/7 system, one of the officers working at the unit, Wara Francis Noel, says they are able to have access to a data base which enables them have all information on passengers and the authenticity of their travel documents.
“This enables us to target suspicious passengers, how passengers got their air ticket, how many times their flight reservation was changed, what type of liquid the aircrafts is transporting amongst others”, Wara Francis Noel explained. The Customs Enforcement Network will enable the unit send and receive instant alerts from any anti-traffic unit on any dubious passenger. The communication network will also help authorities know the different strategies used by drug traffickers at any time.