III SERVICE – Antidrug Operations



The  III Service «Antidrug operations» coordinates the activities of the law enforcement agencies in the fight against drug trafficking. It supports domestic investigations through strategic and operational intelligence, identifying investigative overlaps between ongoing operations into drug trafficking and assisting investigations in our country and abroad. It provides technical-logistic support to the local investigative units through hi-tech resources and equipment. It guarantees information support in complex investigations, developing operational analysis reports in order to steer activities and facilitate the investigations.

Furthermore, this Service is the point of reference for the authorization and the operational coordination of “special operations” (undercover operations and controlled deliveries at national and international levels) and for the requests to board vessels suspected to transport drugs in international waters. Finally, through the new Drug@Online section, it monitors the Internet in order to prevent and fight against illegal drug trade and coordinate counteracting activities throughout Italy.


The most relevant investigations confirm that drug trafficking is one of the main activities carried out by criminal organizations, which exploit advanced technology to find new alliances, notwithstanding their ethnic origin, geographic boundaries and difficulties in communication. In this framework D.C.S.A, supplies local Units with technical-investigative services, supports their activities coordinating investigations, provides information, including strategic analysis reports, as well as technical-logistic aid.


National profile

The III Service coordinates anti-drug information exchange and investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies in Italy and abroad. In this framework, it  ensures  expertise at all stages of the investigations, providing law enforcement units and commands with technical-investigative, logistic-operational and financial  support. The III Service constantly develops and analyzes relevant information, reporting to the investigative  and judicial bodies possible investigative cross-overs.

In such cases, DCSA organizes info-operational meetings attended by members of different units/bureaus, in order to thoroughly analyze information  and avoid time-wasting operational overlaps. Sometimes undercover techniques are used. The infiltration of qualified police officers has allowed us to reconstruct the criminal chain and strike the organization top levels.


International profile

The promotion of  antidrug activities at international level is one of the core activities of the III Service. In fact, one of the most important aspects in the fight against transnational criminal organizations is the internationalization of investigations through the law enforcement attachés network abroad. The cooperation with law enforcement agencies of the countries affected by drug trafficking is a key factor for effective counteraction. In the field of international cooperation, the Italian law enforcement agencies avail themselves, through D.C.S.A., of the support of the main drug transit and producing countries among which: Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico, U.S.A., Spain, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Morocco, Iran, Turkey and others.

In the last few years, this has enhanced the investigative potential and led to large seizures of drugs and assets and to the arrest of high-level fugitives.


Our Drugs Experts in the Word

The foreign cities hosting DCSA Law Enforcement Attachés

D.C.S.A. manages a network of 19 law enforcement attachés, posted to the main centres of illicit drug trafficking, production and transit abroad. Among their priorities: promoting the cooperation against drug trafficking and carrying out study, observation, consultancy, information activities. The attachés also act as a liaison with the competent foreign bodies in order to facilitate a quick solution to judicial and law enforcement issues.

The overseas attachés have been entrusted to carry out research and collect information useful to initiate and develop investigations as well as to trace drug consignments through special investigative techniques aimed at identifying the recipient and, therefore, the criminal organizations importing, transporting and distributing the drug shipments.

A liaison officer, with operational coordination tasks, is also posted at the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre Narcotics MAOC-N in Lisbon.

At present, the law enforcement attachés bureaus are located in the Americas (Ottawa, Santo Domingo, Mexico City, Bogota, Caracas, Lima, Brasilia and Buenos Aires), in Africa (Rabat, Dakar and Accra), in Asia (Istanbul, Beijing, Tashkent and Tehran) and Europe (Madrid, Vienna, Barcelona and Skopje).

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