On 3 April, the results of a large-scale operation against cocaine trafficking were presented. The operation, called Tin Can, resulted in the seizure of almost 98 tons of drugs, worth about 3.4 billion dollars, destined for the European market.
Operation Tin Can was aimed at controlling shipping containers used by criminal organisations using the “Rip-on/Rip-off” method.
The “Rip-on/Rip-off” method, is a concealment method whereby a legitimate shipment, usually containerised, is exploited to transport contraband (particularly cocaine) from the country of origin or transhipment port to the country of destination. In cases of fraud, neither the shipper nor the receiver is aware that their cargo is being used to smuggle illegal goods. For this method to succeed, there must always be a local conspiracy, both in the country of origin or transhipment port and in the country of destination.
The operation, which lasted several months, was organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Australian Border Force in partnership with members of the World Shipping Council. Around 100 seizures were made in 58 countries and 43 people were arrested.