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Chittagong Customs to launch Port Control Unit to curb drug trafficking

Chittagong Customs to launch Port Control Unit to curb drug trafficking

CHITTAGONG: For the surveillance on criminal activities, smuggling and drug trafficking by using modern technology and latest techniques, Chittagong Customs House will launch its Port Control Unit (PCU) next month, a Customs official said the other day.

The PCU will be launched at the joint initiative of the Bangladesh Customs and UNODC under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP).

The PCU will profile containers on the basis of advance information collected from local and international organisations to thwart organised drug trafficking, illicit trade and transnational crime.

The unit would start working on January 5, 2015.

The United Nations Organisation for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Bangladesh Customs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently to set up the unit for checking illicit trade.

State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan and UNODC executive director Yuri Fedotov were also present at the programme.

Customs member (customs intelligence and inspection) Sultan Md Iqbal and South Asia representative of UNODC Cristina Albertin signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.

The UNODC and WCO will impart training to some six customs officials at the Chittagong PCU. They will work on the basis of the MoU.

The PCU officials would communicate and exchange information with different international organizations including Interpol, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They will scrutinise the collected information under risk-management method.

The unit officials would regularly communicate with the Chittagong port authority, Coast Guard, Department of Narcotic Control (DNC) and Bangladesh Police.

The unit would play effective role to strengthen coordinated border management system.

The government has decided to set up the PCU as part of customs mordanisation move.