Phase VI of the EU-funded port cooperation project SEACOP, which aims to support the fight against illicit maritime trafficking, will run for three years
The sixth phase of the SEACOP project, which began in 2010, has begun. The project began its work in Senegal, Ghana and Cape Verde, but the routes for transporting drugs from Latin America to Africa required intervention in the countries of origin and transit, and from there arose the need to make the leap to the Caribbean and Latin America, which has already been done in subsequent phases.
Work will continue for three years in both regions with the objective of supporting the fight against illicit maritime trafficking and associated criminal networks, in line with human rights, in the target countries and regions, in order to mitigate the negative impact on security, public health and socio-economic development.
The project aims to work in three directions. The first is to contribute to the strengthening of capacities for the analysis and identification of suspect vessels and the exchange of information related to illicit maritime and inland waterway trafficking, including those involved in environmental crime, in the selected regions. In addition, it is intended to contribute to the strengthening of maritime search and interception capabilities for illicit goods, including those involved in environmental crime, and finally, it will work on improving regional and trans-regional co-operation and information exchange, including the promotion of law enforcement operations.
This phase began with a meeting inaugurated by Isabel Candela, from the European Commission, who pointed out that, in this phase, a deepening of the lines of work, which are maintained from previous phases, is expected. She also emphasised the use of new technologies in order to achieve greater results, without forgetting to mention the importance of strengthening synergies with other projects such as EMPACT and the introduction of new countries such as Costa Rica and Suriname.
While cocaine represents the bulk of illicit transatlantic trafficking and will therefore remain the project’s priority, SEACOP VI will also work on other illicit trafficking, especially the illicit trafficking of hardwoods, a topic also highlighted by Candela.
SEACOP VI is a project financed by the European Union, led by Expertise France and supported by FIIAPP. It will be implemented in West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. FIIAPP will coordinate the activities in Latin America with the support of specialists from the National Police.