[FIRST ON news.BDTV.in] Interpol coordinated operation results in drug seizures across West Africa

Wednesday, August 01, 2012
A sniffer dog checks a lorry for drugs in Ghana as part of 
INTERPOL’s Operation Atakora across West Africa
Lome, Tago: An INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting drug trafficking across West Africa has resulted in nearly 8 tons of seizures and the arrest of 74 people.

Funded by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within the framework of their Regional Action Plan on Drugs, Operation ATAKORA was carried out across Benin, Ghana and Togo and involved more than 160 officers from police, customs and specialist drug agencies targeting criminal organized networks behind drugs trafficking in the region.

Drugs including cannabis, methamphetamine and large amounts of highly addictive pain killer tablets were among the seizures at airports, sea ports and land borders.

“These results are as a result of the dedicated work of the officers on the ground and the excellent coordination and cooperation between the involved law enforcement agencies,” said Halidu Illo, Criminal Intelligence Officer with INTERPOL’s Drugs and Criminal Organizations unit.

“INTERPOL is committed to continue its support for the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Drugs and our joint activities will continue to detect and dismantle criminal organized networks using West Africa to traffic cocaine, heroin, cannabis and other substances, as demonstrated by Operation ATAKORA,” added Illo.

The three-day operation, conducted from 26 – 28 July, followed a joint INTERPOL-Colombian National Police training session in Lomé, Togo to ensure the involved agencies were updated on the latest investigation techniques.
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