Operational Training Exercise Targets Smuggling of Nuclear and Radiological Materials

Colombian and Peruvian police, customs and border forces training
Colombian and Peruvian police, customs and border forces, in coordination with INTERPOL conducted a two-day operational exercise at Bogota International Bus Terminal. Credit: INTERPOL

An international training exercise at Bogotá International Bus Terminal led by Colombian and Peruvian law enforcement in coordination with INTERPOL has seen hundreds of travelers screened as part of efforts to counter the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Officers screening passengers in INTERPOL’s Mind/Find database
Officers screening passengers in INTERPOL’s Mind/Find database. Credit: INTERPOL

Led by INTERPOL’s Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit (RNTPU), law enforcement and multi-agency representatives in nuclear and radiological security from Colombia and Peru, Operation Stone (1 to 2 November) saw 35 officers deployed to the bus terminal.

Colombian police officer surveys airport for radiological threats
A police officer uses the mobile detection equipment to survey the area of the Bogota International Bus Terminal. Credit: INTERPOL

With a flow of 1,000 buses per day and 12 million international and regional passengers a year, Bogotá International Bus Terminal also includes a cargo handling area where searches and checks were made on waiting passengers and their baggage.

Officers screening cargo for nuclear or other radioactive material using a mobile detector
Officers screening cargo for nuclear or other radioactive material using a mobile detector. Credit: INTERPOL

Radiation readings were made using mobile equipment, including radiological backpack detectors and other handheld detection devices. These were used in scenarios involving actors who were deployed throughout the terminal and searched for on buses, cargo areas and public spaces. Chemical test kits were also used to check for explosive materials.

INTERPOL Trains Colombian, Peruvian Law Enforcement
Chemical kits used during the training to test for explosives. Credit: INTERPOL

The operational activity was preceded by two training courses, including An Introduction to CBRNE Materials, Evidence and Investigation Course (Lima, August 2016) and a CBRNE Intervention Course (Bogota, September 2016) to help prepare police, customs and border forces to combat the smuggling of nuclear and other radiological materials.

Article reprinted with permission from ©INTERPOL

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