INCB GRIDS builds awareness raising and information sharing capacity in Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain

23 February 2021 - The INCB Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme delivered a training webinar in Spanish to 147 international law and regulatory enforcement officers from 14 Spanish speaking countries, including from Latin America and the Caribbean regions as well as Spain. The objective of the training was to inform governments on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) global approaches and operational tools that enhance officer capacity to counter trafficking in NPS, synthetic opioids, precursors and other dangerous substances not currently under international control. Participants received access to and training on the secure communication platform IONICS and GRIDS Intelligence tool, the INCB's newly launched state-of-the-art visual analytics tool that allows fast identification of routing and modus operandi to support the strategic and operational work of national officers. Officers were also introduced to the INCB's new interactive training platform GRIDS Elite, which empowers officers to continue their learning beyond the classroom and also share what they've learned with colleagues in their respective areas of work.

Of the 147 participating drug control officers and international experts, 65 customs, 35 police, 16 regulatory, 9 postal and other health experts and regulatory officials from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela participated in the online training course in compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures.

During the virtual training, which included a lively discussion and an active exchange of good practices, Pablo Sagastume, programme manager of the regional postal security project at the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (UPAEP), highlighted that global INCB intelligence sharing tools "will help our Postal Operators gather key intelligence to improve their efforts and operations to identify NPS that are sent through the mail and represent a great threat to our employees and customers". He stressed that using available expertise within Latin America and the Caribbean is crucial to sustainably respond to, and communicate threats of, dangerous substances in the mail stream.

Photo: Fast-changing global trafficking trends and modus operandi were highlighted during the webinar

The work was carried out under the Board's Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) programme, as a response to the 2018 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 73/192, calling for "International cooperation to address and counter the world drug problem", by responding to requests by Member States to enhance their law enforcement capacity to detect and identify new psychoactive substances and promote cross-border cooperation and information-sharing through the use of the Board's specialized tools and projects. Under the GRIDS programme, the Project ION, the OPIOIDS Project and the IONICS platform provide practical tools to interdict illicit manufacture, marketing, movement and monetization of dangerous NPS, fentanyl-related substances and their precursors, through information and intelligence exchange.

The event was made possible through the generous investments by the Government of Canada.

Click here to learn more about the GRIDS Programme

Click here to learn more about the OPIOIDS Project

Click here to learn more about the Project ION

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