The Support for AMERIPOL's project participates in the presentation of the results of the Link II operation against drug trafficking
Criminal organisations have found an opportunity for ill gotten gains in drug trafficking and counterfeiting during the pandemic. An international alliance involving the Police Community of the Americas (AMERIPOL), the European Union Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), EUROPOL and INTERPOL was set up to tackle these crimes. Operation Link II is backed by the EL PAcCTO European cooperation project: Support for AMERIPOL, which is managed by FIIAPP.
After a year of tackling drug trafficking, the results of Operation Link II were presented at an event attended by over 85 liaison officers at the regional and European level. This joint action has made it possible to coordinate operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and the Dominican Republic through control entities such as customs, health services, police and ministries of the interior or equivalent, together with judges and prosecutors.
More than 1,900 control actions have led to the dismantling of 40 criminal structures within the framework of Operation Link II. Among the materials seized are some 5,000 medical instruments, 6.5 million supplies, 19,000 COVID-19 diagnosis tests and over 2.7 million drugs. The value of all the seized medical material amounts to around nine million dollars.
During the event, the importance of continuing to work along the same lines and of strengthening cooperation in specific actions like these that attack the criminal assets of these criminal organisation head on were emphasised. According to Dr. Marleny Montenegro Guerrero, from the Ministry of Health in the Republic of Colombia, the actions carried out by Operation Link II have been very effective in fighting the pandemic and have made it possible to “save lives”.
The coordinator of EL PAcCTO: Support for AMERIPOL has highlighted the need to fight against misinformation in relation to COVID-19, where such “unfounded, ill-intentioned fake news” must be attacked in real time and speedily rebutted by the truth. To this end, work is to be carried out to endow AMERIPOL with its own centre against cybercrime in the near future similar to the one at EUROPOL.