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06 avril 2007

South African police join international security effort at Cricket World Cup

A team of South Africa police officers from the elite special task force and national intervention unit is heading to the Caribbean as part of international security efforts surrounding the Cricket World Cup.

The 77-strong South African Police Service (SAPS) group, due to arrive in the Caribbean on 9 April, will be the latest addition to a number of international security personnel already working alongside Caribbean officers, including an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST).

INTERPOL President and SAPS Commissioner Jackie Selebi has overseen the deployment of the group, which also includes bomb disposal experts, crime scene investigators, bomb-sniffer dogs and their handlers, and a command and control group under the direction of Deputy National Commissioner André Pruis.

Leading-edge technology (called MIND/FIND) installed by INTERPOL throughout the Caribbean has ensured that law enforcement officers at airports and other border-entry points have instant access to INTERPOL’s database of nearly 14 million stolen and lost travel documents, enabling officers throughout the region to determine within seconds whether an individual poses a potential security threat to the tournament.

The risk of international terrorist groups targeting major public events is always a concern. The frontline deployment of the SAPS group and the support of INTERPOL’s IMEST are intended to bolster local and international security efforts at this major event.