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13 July 2010 - Media release

2010 FIFA World Cup a security success for host South Africa confirms INTERPOL

LYON, France – With the completion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup which saw South Africa hosting more than one million visitors without any major incident, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble attested to the success of the government of South Africa's collaborative efforts with INTERPOL and international law enforcement to ensure the safety of participants and spectators across the country.

INTERPOL deployed its largest-ever Major Events Support Team (IMEST) comprised of 50 experienced officers from 32 countries to support the South African Police Service ahead of and during the tournament.

In addition to being posted at all airports and border crossings across the country, IMEST staff were also deployed to hotels and match venues to assist in conducting instant checks against INTERPOL’s global databases.

“The exhaustive security planning and preparation carried out by the South African Police Service for the 2010 FIFA World Cup clearly paid off with no major incidents in the host country,” said Secretary General Noble following his visit to the International Police Co-ordination Centre in Pretoria.

“INTERPOL is pleased to have joined law enforcement agencies involved in this massive security effort to support the South African police, its citizens and the thousands of visitors who enjoyed the matches in safety,” said Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL's Executive Director of Police Services, who headed up the IMEST team in South Africa.

"South Africa established a high threshold for communications and security procedures enabling INTERPOL to utilize its resources to assist in this undertaking. This experience provides a blueprint for future major sporting events in relation to police preparation and processes,” added Mr Louboutin.

Via the IMEST and the 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, South Africa’s police were able to instantly query INTERPOL’s global databases, including those for Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) which contains nearly 22 million entries, including more than 12 million passports and its Stolen Motor Vehicles (SMV) database, containing more than seven million entries. More than 600,000 checks were carried out resulting in nearly 100 hits against entries in INTERPOL’s STLD, nominal and SMV databases.

One significant arrest was that Mouamba Munanga from the Democratic Republic of Congo, wanted by France and Bahrain for counterfeit currency, criminal association and money laundering, who was arrested in South Africa on 16 June within the framework of INTERPOL’s Operation Infra-Red (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest – Red Notices) targeting 450 fugitives wanted by 29 member countries.

IMEST support was also provided to a South African Police Service (SAPS) investigation into a suspected fraudulent passport production factory in the capital, Pretoria, when 21 individuals were arrested for distributing fake documents.

In addition to its activities on the ground in South Africa,  an INTERPOL co-ordinated operation, SOGA III targeting illegal soccer gambling activities in Asia by organized crime groups, has already resulted in more than 3,000 arrests and the seizure of nearly USD 2 million.

Full results of the joint tactical operation involving officers from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will be released upon the operation’s conclusion.