An international operation across Latin America and West Africa by Interpol between 6 and 15 March,2017, has netted 55 tonnes of drugs, a seizure which underlines the ‘massive scale’ of activities of transnational organized crime groups, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said.
Operation Lionfish III involved 5,000 law enforcement officials in 13 countries, with 357 arrests and the bulk of seizures resulting from intelligence-led operations by police in participating countries.
“The Brazilian Federal Police was pleased to play a key role in Operation Lionfish by hosting its operational coordination unit. INTERPOL’s policing capabilities and global network helped enhance the capacity of participating countries to cooperate and seize large quantities of drugs as well as arrest high level targets,” said Rogerio Galloro, Executive Director of the Brazilian Federal Police.
The operation was co-organized by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, with support from the INTERPOL Regional Bureaus in Buenos Aires and Abidjan. INTERPOL’s Criminal Networks unit facilitated information exchange and cross-checking against INTERPOL’s global databases in real time.
The operation was held under the framework of INTERPOL’s CRIMJUST project, managed jointly with the UNODC and Transparency International and funded by the European Union.
It aims to strengthen criminal investigations and cooperation along cocaine routes in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa by fostering interregional law enforcement coordination and information sharing.
Drawing on the resources of INTERPOL’s Project Fortaleza which supports Latin American countries fight organized crime syndicates, the operation involved Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Panama and Peru.