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06 June 2011

Benin and INTERPOL carry out STOP Operation against people smuggling

COTONOU, Benin – Local law enforcement authorities in co-ordination with INTERPOL have carried out an operation at Cotonou international airport to dismantle criminal networks using stolen or lost travel documents and prevent criminals attempting to use fraudulent documents to enter Benin.

Co-ordinated by the INTERPOL Smuggling Training Operation Programme (STOP) of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings Sub-Directorate, the operation (2-3 June) targeted smuggling and trafficking networks providing stolen or lost travel documents to illegal immigrants or individuals involved in organized crime.

The operation followed two days of training (31 May-1 June) provided to some 40 officers from Benin’s Immigration Police, Customs and Gendarmerie on using INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost  Travel Documents database via INTERPOL Border Management System (IBMS) technology and detecting fraudulent travel documents.

Following Cotonou International Airport’s connection to the INTERPOL SLTD database in March 2011, the operation also aimed to increase running checks at the airport against the database containing around 28 million entries from 158 countries.

INTERPOL STOP operations will be carried out in a number of other African countries in 2011.

Cotonou airport authorities carried out checks against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database