Debriefing of Operation IRENE III

14 Oct 2022

During the 33rd NCP Meeting, there was a debriefing session on Operation IRENE III which is a joint operation targeting the smuggling of small arms and light weapons (SALW).

 Mr. Cheon-Jeong Park, Head of RILO AP, started the session with his expression of appreciation to Ms. Wang Beijing, Acting Director of International Enforcement Cooperation Division of Anti-smuggling Bureau of China Customs, for participating in the debriefing session and proceeded to introduce the goals and meaning of the operation. He concluded by saying that he was grateful to all participants of the operation for their active participation.

 Ms. Wang Beijing, Acting Director of International Enforcement Cooperation Division of Anti-smuggling Bureau of China Customs, gave a speech which was about the reason for launching the initiative of the Joint Operation IRENE III. In her speech, she also emphasized that it would be the right time for customs officers to make efforts for safe borders.

 A presentation delivered by Ms. Gu Xin from China Customs was followed. She shared share Shenzhen Customs’ best practices on how to detect trafficking of SALW. In her presentation, she introduced the background and workflow of the joint research workstation set up at Shenzhen Customs in March 2022. In this regard, she elaborated on how up-to-date technologies such as AI image recognition systems and CT equipment for three-dimensional images China Customs had been using had improved effectively the process of identifying suspicious parcels. Also, she presented several cases of controlled delivery which had been conducted to intercept cocaine concealed in African drums transferred at Shenzhen and shared images gained from AI image recognition system.

Mr. Chunwan Shi, Intelligence Analyst of RILO AP, shared key figures of Operation IRENE III. He started his presentation by introducing the background of Operation IRENE III. He mentioned changes in the landscape of trafficking routes and modus operandi caused by COVID-19 as a major reason for launching IRENE III after IRENE I & II conducted successfully in 2016 and 2017. He touched on every aspect of the operation such as phases of the operation, range of target commodities, instrument for exchanging seizure data, legal basis, and participating members. Also, he showed seizure figures by member, month, trafficking route, conveyance, concealment method, and direction. Remarkable cases reported during the operation were shared. They included 45 pieces of pistols intercepted by India Customs, which was the biggest single seizure in all the seizure data.

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