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Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre

The Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC (N)), based in Lisbon, is an initiative by 7 EU Member Countries: France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and the UK and is co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union. The Centre provides a forum for multi-lateral cooperation to suppress illicit drug trafficking by sea and air.

Although operational from April 2007, the Centre officially opened on the 30th of September 2007 in Lisbon following the signing of an International Agreement by Ministers from each of the Partner Countries. MAOC (N) is a European Law Enforcement unit with military support that coordinates maritime and aviation intelligence, resources and trained personnel in order to respond to the threat posed of illicit drug trafficking by maritime and air conveyances.

The headquarters is staffed by Country Liaison Officers (CLOs) representing the police, customs, military and maritime authorities of the participating European nations, as well as by a permanent observer from the United States through the Drug Enforcement Administration, Lisbon Country Office, and the Joint Interagency Task Force South. The European Commission, EUROPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Defence Agency (EDA), EUROJUST and FRONTEX are all observers of MAOC (N).

In addition to the intelligence provided, MAOC (N)’s success can be attributed to other factors, such as the working model (Liaison Officers working together with full transparency and equality), as well as the civil-military connection and cooperation with West African countries. The MAOC (N) model, working practises and operations are conducted in a format which aims to minimise bureaucracy, whilst maximising operational activity. From 2007 to July 2016, MAOC (N) supported the coordination and seizure of over 116 tons of cocaine and over 300 tons of cannabis.