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05 April 2011 - Media release

Cricket World Cup host countries ensured security with millions of checks against INTERPOL's global databases

LYON, France – Authorities in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka have been commended by INTERPOL for their collaborative efforts with the world police body and international law enforcement on the safety of participants and spectators during the Cricket World Cup, which saw them ensure that as many domestic and foreign visitors as possible were checked against INTERPOL’s global databases.

With the three countries hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors during the 2011 Cricket World Cup (19 March – 2 April), INTERPOL deployed at the request of Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan authorities a Major Events Support Team (IMEST) in each country to support national and international security efforts for the event. During this period, the total number of checks which authorities in all three countries carried out at key inspection points against INTERPOL's global nominal and stolen or lost travel documents (SLTD) databases reached 2.8 million.

"INTERPOL congratulates Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka for ensuring that almost three million visitors' names and passports were screened against INTERPOL's global databases. Their international collaborative efforts, in which INTERPOL’s IMESTs and tools played a central role, helped ensure that the 2011 Cricket World Cup remained safe and secure for participants, officials and spectators," said INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin.

As part of the 150 hits generated during the checks carried out on INTERPOL’s databases, a Maldives national wanted in his country in connection with a 2007 bombing attack was arrested at Colombo International Airport less than six hours after his passport triggered an INTERPOL alarm as he travelled from Pakistan to the Maldives via Sri Lanka during a routine check of Colombo airport passenger manifests by INTERPOL’s IMEST in Sri Lanka.

Via INTERPOL’s IMESTs and its 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, police authorities in the host countries were able to instantly query INTERPOL's global databases, including its SLTD database containing more than 26 million entries from 158 countries.

INTERPOL’s involvement with the Cricket World Cup also provided an opportunity for the world police body to extend its technology to airports and land borders in all three countries to allow remote access to its global databases.