The Container Control Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Pakistan (UNODC) landmarked another milestone, in inaugurating its second Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. This new multi-agency initiative is a platform that encourages better collaboration among all national agencies which in 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 Container Control Programme (CCP) has been engaged in helping developing countries set up inter-agency units at seaports to profile and identify high risk consignments. The steps to establish such units are i) seeking consent from all involved national stakeholders and signing an MoU ii) delivering a complete training package for the nominated staff of the unit (several training phases during an approximate one year time span) iii) providing necessary infrastructure and equipment for the unit, and iv) continuing to assist the unit with additional training and mentorship. The ultimate goal of the CCP Port/Airport Control Units (ACCUs/PCUs) 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, 6 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 and misdeclaration of goods.