World Customs Organization2003-04-03 17:15:25

The WCO working jointly with INTERPOL

During late 2002, the WCO working jointly with INTERPOL, established Operation ANDES to assist national customs and police authorities to work together by exchanging and analysing information to enable them to identify illegal consignments of precursor chemicals in Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina and Peru. Chemicals such as methyl isobutyl ketone are often used as precursors in the illicit production of cocaine.

By utilising the WCO's Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) as an on-line message platform, customs and police officials in the participating South American countries shared relevant information and intelligence. This permitted effective targeting and identification of vessels and trucks that were considered to be a risk.

During Operation ANDES, 130,000 litres and 133 tonnes of chemical precursors and almost 7 tonnes of cocaine were seized. In addition, four cocaine laboratories were also dismantled and many persons arrested.

The WCO sees the success of Operation ANDES as an example of successful co-operation at the national, regional and international level and hopes that it will provide a useful model for similar integrated operational activity in other regions of the world.

For more information contact:
30, Rue Du Marché
B-1210 BRUSSELS
Belgium
Tel:     +32 2 209 92 11
Fax:     +32 2 209 92 92



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