Fighting drug cartels: Germany joins Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics)

Fighting drug cartels: Germany joins Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics)

press release

, Date:
02 April 2024

Centre in Lisbon coordinates joint operations of European law enforcement authorities

At the beginning of April, Germany became a partner country of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) (MAOC-N). The centre’s mission is to take action against illicit drug trafficking by sea and air. It is based in Lisbon and staffed by liaison officers from EU law enforcement authorities and other partners. Its partner countries are France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK and now also Germany. 

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser said: “We are forging international alliances in a targeted way to fight organised crime and stop international drug trafficking. Germany’s accession to the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre in Lisbon is an important step on this path, and helps us to coordinate our investigations even more closely and to take robust and targeted action. 

We must make sure that sea ports such as Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg are not gateways for trafficking large volumes of narcotics into the EU. These drugs destroy people’s lives and yield billions in profits for drug cartels. We need to make our ports even more secure, by increasing pressure through intensified investigations and by strengthening corruption prevention in the companies operating in the ports. I’ve invited the Coalition of European countries against serious and organised crime to a meeting at the Port of Hamburg on 7 May to step up our fight against the drug cartels.”

In 2023 alone, MAOC-N was instrumental in the interception of narcotics with a market value of €5.5 billion, thus preventing them from reaching the European market. 

Following Germany’s accession, liaison officers from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) are now able to exchange and analyse information on suspected narcotics deliveries, above all by sea, with their international partners. The MAOC-N’s main task is to coordinate the deployment and operation of vessels and aircraft during joint operations in the fight against drug trafficking. The country leading the investigation then decides on whether a vessel is to be intercepted and how the operation is to be carried out.

Germany’s accession is part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior’s Strategy to fight serious and organised crime. The Federal Government is entering into coalitions with international partners in a targeted manner to combat organised crime structures.

Cooperation with the countries of origin of narcotics, especially with Latin American countries, is also being intensified significantly. To this end, Federal Minister Nancy Faeser recently travelled to Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, where she reached agreements with all four countries on tightening operational police cooperation in order to fight organised crime and drug trafficking even more rigorously. 

In 2022, Germany became a member of the Coalition of European countries against serious and organised crime, which aims above all to boost the security and resilience of sea ports so that they will no longer be gateways for trafficking narcotics into the EU. Minister Faeser has invited the members of the Coalition to a ministerial conference in Hamburg on 7 May 2024.

Originally published at;jsessionid=1FB32E982AFB15C14522404D7D2FE598.live861

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