The Interagency Container Control Unit established within a project and supported by the World Customs Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United States Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program has marked its 10th year in operation.
H.E. Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia addressed the audience composed of program participants, international partners and diplomatic corps accredited in the country along with H.E. Vakhtang Gomelauri, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia; Levan Kakava, Director General (DG) of the Georgian Revenue Service (GRS); Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative in Central Asia.
Keynote Speakers of the event reiterated the significance of joint efforts and cooperation with international partners under the program.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by and between the UNODC, Ministries of Internal Affairs and Finance of Georgia within the scope of the event.
Certificates of Gratitude institutionalized by the UNODC and memorabilia gifts were handed over to 22 civil servants within the Interagency Unit for their honest work, dedication and demonstrated professionalism.
First interagency unit established in Georgia at the Economic Clearance Zone of Poti has been performing a coordinated control over the flow of cargo through the country from marine ports together with customs officers of the GRS under the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, Patrolling Police and Central Criminal Police Departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
It is worth noting that for the first time in a common space of work and within their scope of competence, designated employees of various public institutions were given the opportunity to gain access to databases, exchange experience, skills and various tools at their disposal and jointly obtain and analyze information and inspection of selected cargo if required.
Effectiveness of units and their performance improved after the engagement of Investigation Service Officers of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. Currently, 3 Interagency Units of Container Control operate nation-wide.
It is worth noting that the Joint Unit of Container Control Program is actively engaged in the enforcement of international sanctions. Also, almost 180 kilograms of drugs - heroin and over 5 kilograms of cocaine - have been detected and dealt with by the Joint Task Force. At the same time, a number of criminal cases have been detected both within Georgia and overseas.