Container Control Program
The World Customs Organisation (WCO) experts in collaboration with Australian Border Force (ABF) and Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) are conducting the Container Control Program (CCP) training for FRCS Customs officers in Suva and Nadi.
The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and WCO launched the CCP to assist Governments in establishing effective container selections and controls to prevent drug trafficking and other illicit cross-border activities.
Fiji is the first country in the Pacific to have a future CCP unit.
“This is indeed a milestone achievement for FRCS. The CCP training will assist Customs officers and equip them with the right skills and knowledge to successfully operate the CCP unit in the near future,” FRCS Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Visvanath Das said.
ABF Superintendent International Operations, Mr. Bjorn Roberts said the current partnership between Fiji and Australia will further strengthen through this program.
“Australia Border Force already has a strong relationship with FRCS and through Australian Federal Police with the Fiji Police, this is just a next step in further strengthening this partnership to enable ongoing, real time operational collaboration to protect the region’s borders from the harm of transnational crime,” Mr. Roberts said.
“The first CCP unit is in Fiji because we see Fiji as the hub of the Pacific in terms of cargo movements. By strengthening Fiji’s borders, we can also protect the other Pacific nations,” he said.
He added that it is vital that border agencies work together to ensure that enforcement efforts do not interfere with the facilitation of genuine international trade.
WCO facilitator, Mr. Peter Timmermans said the CCP unit focuses on illicit trade and identify by risk management techniques.
“We try to identify high risk containers for narcotics, wildlife, environmental crimes and also security,” Mr. Timmermans said
“At the moment for South East Asia, methamphetamine is quite a serious problem so we address and train officers on how best to access the information they need to be able to effectively target this threat,” he said.
A practical exercise was conducted at the Oceania Logistics this week with Customs officers and Suva Detector Dog unit.
Since its establishment 15 years ago, the UNODC/WCO CCP has achieved the following:
- Establishment of more than 100 CCP units globally
- 320,000kg of cocaine
- Since start of CCP program, 6,907kg Heroine seized
- 1723 tons Drug and explosives precursors seized
- 72 ton of cannabis seized
- 2755 Kilograms new psychotropic substances
- 323-ton tramadol
- Environmental crime: 183 Containers seized – Protected wood, hazardous and plastic waste, Ivory and rhino horn
- 1951 other cases were reported with illicit trade such as weapons, dual use “strategic” goods (98), 914.660.000 pieces of smuggled cigarettes, spirits, stolen cars, counterfeit and smuggled medicines, illicit waste, ozone depleting substances and incorrect declarations increasing the National revenue collection.