EU assists region in fighting drug trafficking

The European Union is providing 2.5 million euros towards the fight against drug trafficking and international criminal networks in the Caribbean.

Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, made the disclosure as he addressed the 4th Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security conference on 12 March 2014 in Barbados.

The funding, which is being provided through the EU Seaport Co-operation Project (SEACOP) will assist with the establishment of joint national maritime intelligence units, a regional maritime information system, as well as regional and trans-regional networking and technical assistance.

The development of such infrastructure should lead to increased targeting of suspected vessels, a unified maritime intelligence system, increased drug seizures and enhanced multi-agency co-operation.

The development of such infrastructure should lead to increased targeting of suspected vessels, a unified maritime intelligence system, increased drug seizures and enhanced multi-agency co-operation.

Coastal surveillance and maritime security is very important to the Caribbean and Europe, since both have a common purpose, which is the eradication of drug trafficking in the region,” Ambassador Barfod said.

Since 2009 the European Union has committed almost 35 million euros over 38 countries along the cocaine route – Central America, the Caribbean, West South and North Africa and on to Europe – through the Cocaine Route Programme in efforts to fight against both organised crime and drugs trafficking. The Cocaine Route Programme was the first of its kind to think strategically about the flow of drug trafficking and to provide support, technical advice, capacity building and encourage coordination between states situated along the entire route.

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