Austrian security chief’s visit to INTERPOL underlines country’s international security role
LYON, France – Austria’s Director General for Public Security, Herbert Anderl, today met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters to discuss security measures aimed at enhancing international cooperation against transnational crime.
The visit by Mr Anderl underlined the close relationship between Austria and INTERPOL, and provided an opportunity for reviewing a range of key security issues such as cross-border organized crime, financial crime and cooperation in identifying and locating international fugitives. INTERPOL’s global security initiatives and the provision of its global tools and services to its 190 member countries also topped the agenda.
"Austria’s public security authorities see international police collaboration with INTERPOL as a priority. They fully recognize INTERPOL’s vital role in tackling international crime in all its forms, through the effective cooperation of police forces around the world,” said Austria’s Director General for Public Security, Herbert Anderl.
During his meeting with Mr Anderl, the head of INTERPOL hailed Austria’s ‘‘crucial role” in the recent conviction in a US court of an Afghan national wanted internationally for a series of rapes after a DNA match made by INTERPOL led to the suspect’s arrest in Salzburg, Austria in 2010.
Ali Achekzai, aged 33, who fled to Austria from the US after he was accused of rape in 2004, was convicted by a court in California last month of sexually assaulting two women and attempting to sexually assault a third. He was extradited to the US from Austria in 2010 after US detectives sent a DNA profile linked to the US attacks to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon in December 2009. INTERPOL’s global DNA database matched the profile with another one submitted by Austria as part of an investigation into a rape in Salzburg in April 2009.
“The decision by Austria to share information on its own crime case with the international police community, and the coordination between INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus in Vienna, Washington and its DNA unit in Lyon, were crucial to this case,” said Mr Noble.
In 2005, Austria became the first country to adopt the charter governing the automated use of and access to the database of DNA profiles at the INTERPOL General Secretariat. INTERPOL’s DNA database – the only global database of its kind – was created in 2003 and currently contains approximately more than 120,000 profiles submitted by 61 member countries resulting in 364 international matches flagged to the affected countries.
The head of INTERPOL further outlined how Austria’s involvement in key INTERPOL initiatives such as Project Pink Panthers, coordinating the worldwide campaign against an international gang of jewel thieves, or Project Millennium, involving 42 countries to target transnational Eurasian organized crime by sharing and contributing intelligence to INTERPOL's databases, further demonstrated its commitment to international law enforcement cooperation.
“Austria has consistently demonstrated its support for international police cooperation to deliver results on the ground. It understands that the transnational crime threats which are faced by every country cannot be dealt with in isolation,” added Secretary General Noble.
A review of progress on the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation due to open in Singapore in early 2014, and its role against high-tech and cyber-crime, also topped the agenda during Mr Anderl’s visit, which also included the Deputy Director of Austria’s Criminal Intelligence Service, Andrea Raninger, the Head of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Vienna, Thomas Herko, and the Head of Austria’s Unit for Bilateral and Multilateral Affairs, Günther Sablattnig.