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22 April 2010

Philippine and INTERPOL operation targets people smuggling networks

MANILA, Philippines - An operation at Manila International Airport has been carried out by local law enforcement authorities in co-ordination with INTERPOL targeting criminal networks and illegal immigrants attempting to use fraudulent documents to enter the Philippines.

Co-ordinated by the Dismantling Smuggling Networks (DSN) umbrella of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings Sub-Directorate, the operation (12-22 April) focused on detecting criminal networks providing stolen or lost travel documents to illegal immigrants or individuals involved in organized crime. It involved more than 50 Philippine police and immigration officers working in co-ordination with INTERPOL’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France and its National Central Bureau (NCB) in Manila.

It saw the installation and integration of INTERPOL’s MIND/FIND technology at the airport within the Philippine police system, allowing frontline police and at border points instant search capability against INTERPOL databases of both travellers’ names and passport numbers.

During the operation at Manila International Airport, more than 5,000 international arrivals and departures were instantly checked against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database which contains more than 20 million documents from over 140 countries. Name checks against INTERPOL’s global databases during the operation resulted in several further secondary inspections which are being followed up by national law enforcement authorities.

The operation also saw INTERPOL provide capacity building training to more than 50 Philippine police and immigration officers on INTERPOL’s global tools and services, including its databases and criminal intelligence analysis unit, to enhance the ability of Philippine law enforcement officials to identify and dismantle people smuggling activities in the future.