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13 February 2014

Combating transnational crime and terrorism focus of INTERPOL Chief meeting with Sierra Leone President

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble met with President of Sierra Leone Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to identify areas for enhanced cooperation in combating transnational crime and terrorism.

Proposals to expand access to INTERPOL’s global policing tools and databases to frontline officers beyond the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Freetown was a key issue during discussions.

Sierra Leone’s involvement in INTERPOL’s West African Police Information System (WAPIS) programme was also identified as an essential element in enhanced law enforcement cooperation to combat threats against national and regional security.

During his first mission to Sierra Leone, the INTERPOL Chief also met with the Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu and visited staff at NCB Freetown which serves as a central base for additional stations throughout the country.

“My discussions with President Koroma and other senior government officials in Sierra Leone have been important in not only clearly defining the security needs of Sierra Leone but also in understanding better where INTERPOL's tools, services and support are needed most,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Sierra Leone has demonstrated its willingness and commitment to global law enforcement cooperation and INTERPOL will help Sierra Leone put in place state-of-the-art INTERPOL tools and services to help the police more effectively screen people at borders and within the country,” added the head of INTERPOL.

Sierra Leone was one of five pilot countries for the Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) launched in 2009 aimed at combatting illicit trafficking and organized crime in the sub-region. This joint UN/INTERPOL project supports the Regional Action Plan of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa.

The Secretary General’s visit to Sierra Leone, one of 67 member countries which has recognized the INTERPOL’s Travel Document, is part of a five-day mission to Western Africa which began in Togo on Monday 10 February.