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13 March 2012 - Media release

Global policing at a strategic crossroads, says INTERPOL

Cybercrime highlighted as key security threat at international police chiefs meeting


LYON, France – Senior police officials from around the world are meeting at INTERPOL's eighth Heads of National Central Bureaus (NCBs) conference to focus on strategic initiatives against the global policing challenges faced by its 190 member countries.

The three-day (13-15 March) conference gathering some 270 delegates from 148 countries opened today with its efforts set on the need for INTERPOL to continually adapt its resources and expertise to better address 21st Century crime and the changing security landscape in the face of evolving threats such as cybercrime.

INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui said: “Facilitating police cooperation and the exchange of information globally is a critical component of achieving our vision of a safer world. In this respect, research and development will be essential for the progress of global policing in a complex security landscape in which criminals are exploiting cyber space to commit crimes such as online fraud, identity theft or money laundering.”

With the need for global concerted action underlined at the conference, Elmer R. Wilsoe, the Minister of Justice of one of INTERPOL’s newest member countries, Curaçao, said in his keynote speech: “The government of Curaçao has committed to give its full cooperation to INTERPOL by recognizing the organization as a strategic partner in its fight against transnational crimes.”

“The support Curaçao is receiving from INTERPOL in terms of police training and development will build up capacity and enhance the capabilities of law enforcement entities in Curaçao to detect crime trends, analyze criminal information, conduct joint operations and arrest criminals,” added the minister.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble told the international meeting of senior police officials how the world’s largest police organization had recently come under cyber-attack following an international operation supported by INTERPOL targeting suspected hackers.

Operation Unmask was carried out by police in Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Spain, under the framework of INTERPOL’s Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime and has to date resulted in 25 arrests. The evidence collected so far will help provide a clearer picture of the illegal activities carried out by the suspected hackers.

“Our role in Operation Unmask serves to highlight a vital challenge in the 21st Century for global policing and for the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore: addressing the global nature of crimes carried out in cyberspace by criminals anywhere in the world,” said Secretary General Noble.

The Head of INTERPOL said the support INTERPOL provided Operation Unmask showed how INTERPOL had become a pivotal component of the daily policing activities of INTERPOL member countries worldwide.

In this respect, the conference also heard how over the past 2 years, more than 40 INTERPOL specialized teams have been deployed worldwide to secure major events or in the aftermath of natural disasters and attacks.

In addition, the United Nations Security Council has called the international community to work via INTERPOL against maritime piracy.

And as a key player in the prevention of nuclear trafficking and terrorism, for the first time INTERPOL will join later this month some 50 Heads of State in South Korea for the Nuclear Security Summit.