2010 – Year of achievements for INTERPOL lays foundations for 21st century law enforcement
In a strong endorsement of INTERPOL’s strategic roadmap, its General Assembly in Qatar in November unanimously backed the creation by early 2014 of the INTERPOL Global Complex (IGC) in Singapore to boost law enforcement’s capability to tackle new 21st century criminal threats such as cybercrime by developing cutting-edge research, development and operational facilities for its 188 member countries.
The adoption by the General Assembly of the INTERPOL Travel Document initiative will also enable the Organization to provide faster on-site support to member countries requesting assistance, with countries granting special visa status to staff travelling on official business.
Deployments of INTERPOL Major Events Support Teams and Incident Response Teams worldwide assisted member countries with a range of public events and serious incidents, including the FIFA World Cup in South Africa – where INTERPOL deployed its largest-ever support team, the Commonwealth Games in India, and crime scene investigative and victim identification support following July’s terror attacks in Kampala, Uganda.
INTERPOL member countries conducted more than half a billion database searches, and more than 10,000 Notices were published, including some 6,000 Red Notices to help take thousands of fugitives off the streets – a record described by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble as ‘demonstrating the strength of INTERPOL’s operational support to its National Central Bureaus worldwide’.
In this respect, Operation INFRA-Red 2010 (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest – Red Notices) led to more than 160 fugitives located or arrested worldwide. Investigators from 29 countries and agencies, including Crimes Stoppers International, worked with INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.
“The work we have undertaken with our member countries in 2010 underlines our commitment to help rank and file police officers keep citizens and the global community safe. More than ever, our member countries count on INTERPOL not only to build on its existing strengths, but also to use its expertise to forge new paths for law enforcement worldwide,” said Mr Noble, elected by the General Assembly to a third term as Secretary General.
Other major highlights in 2010 included:
- More than 300 child workers were rescued and 50 individuals arrested as part of Operations Bana in Gabon and Cascades in Burkina Faso targeting child trafficking under the German-funded INTERPOL OASIS (Operational Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support) programme in Africa.
- The first-ever address by the Secretary General of INTERPOL to the United Nations General Assembly.
- A United Nations Security Council resolution called on member states to work with INTERPOL and Europol to fight criminal networks behind maritime piracy. An EU Decision will also see the EU’s military mission in the Gulf of Aden use INTERPOL’s global network and tools.
- The new site of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires created through its Command and Co-ordination Centre, global tools and services an enhanced central point for regional and international police co-operation.
- Close collaboration between INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus in Peru and Chile saw the arrest in Chile of Dutch murder suspect Joran van der Sloot and his expulsion to Peru.
- Co-ordinated with the World Customs Organization, Operation Jupiter V led to 600 arrests and more than USD 50 million worth of counterfeit and pirated goods seized in raids across South America.
- International police co-operation led to the arrest in Amsterdam of an alleged serial child sexual abuser. The suspect was arrested as a result of collaboration via INTERPOL’s global victim identification network.
- INTERPOL launched an Internet crime prevention tool to block online access to child abuse material.
- For the first time, INTERPOL’s DNA database contains more than 100,000 entries.
- East Africa’s Operation Mamba III against counterfeit medicines resulted in 10 tons of seized products and more than 80 arrests. And through Operation Pangea III, more than 40 countries joined an international week of action targeting the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines, with 300 websites shut down, and more than 2.3 million pills worth USD 7 million seized.
- An EU-INTERPOL symposium provided a forum to enhance international co-operation against transnational crime in West Africa.
- To combat illegal soccer gambling during the FIFA World Cup, Operation SOGA III in Asia saw police across China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand collaborate to arrest more than 5,000 people and seize nearly USD 10 million in cash in 800 raids.
- The 1st INTERPOL Information Security Conference in Hong Kong provided a global platform for preventing and detecting high-tech crimes.
- Public online access to INTERPOL’s stolen works of art database saw more than 2,100 users from 79 countries representing police and customs, state authorities and cultural institutions, art trade professionals and private collectors granted access rights and conducting 10,000 queries.
- Senior police representatives from agencies worldwide unanimously backed a General Assembly Resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts against environmental crime through INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme.
- The INTERPOL Mobile Police Training Programme (IMPTP) was launched with Canadian funding and saw Barbados and Argentina host the first-ever mobile training programmes. The INTERPOL Global Learning Centre (IGLC) also made available to member countries some 40 e-learning courses.