Message from the Director
The Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) was established in 2007 to create a dynamic operational platform with the co-location of experienced investigators and military attachés from 7 EU Countries and the United States of America. It brigades the naval and military assets of partners to intercept vessels trafficking bulk shipments of cocaine across the Atlantic Ocean. The initiative is funded by the European Commission and offers tangible evidence of successful joint working in a very demanding environment. The Centre has coordinated the interdiction of over 80 vessels and seizure of over 80 tonnes of cocaine. MAOC-N works with all agencies, countries and third parties to find practical and pragmatic solutions that identify and counter the threats from organised crime. Our efforts seek to break the drug supply route when the drugs are in bulk form and at their most valuable. The interceptions of these bulk quantities of drugs (before the product has been adulterated on the streets of Europe) is when it has the most impact on the higher echelons of organised crime, in terms of lost revenue/proceeds of crime.
MAOC-N is based in Portugal and protects the interests of all EU Member States. We work closely with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) who are based in Lisbon too. Our geographical position ensures regular engagement with those countries who have an active interest in the Atlantic Ocean and wider EU security. In practical terms this means that we can personally brief the crew of a naval vessel as it patrols the Atlantic. We can influence the activity of our more sensitive national assets to undertake a wider mission whilst otherwise engaged on more traditional activity. MAOC-N offers leadership and a unique fusion of civil and military discipline for those who work in the maritime domain.
We recognise the significance of West Africa as a nexus for the trafficking routes and coordinate our activity to engage with other regional initiatives. In recent years we have been involved in the seizure of over 100 tonnes of cannabis and had a greater engagement in the Mediterranean and off the coast of North Africa.
MAOC-N takes an active role in the current EU Planning Cycle 2014-17 and works closely with Europol, Eurojust and Interpol. The Atlantic Ocean covers over 20% of the World´s surface area and borders over 90 countries and territories. We need holistic and collaborative engagement to ensure we maximise our impact and de-conflict activity.The Director