INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Tajikistan underscores security priorities in Central Asia
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – On his first official visit to Tajikistan INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble met the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Head of Police, Ramazon Rakhimov, to review security challenges in Tajikistan and Central Asia and ascertain how INTERPOL’s global tools and network can further help address these.
In addition to terrorism and border security, drug smuggling and human trafficking were key issues on the agenda during Mr Noble’s visit. Tajikistan is confronted by serious policing challenges posed by transnational crime gangs exploiting its long borders to transit drugs across the country and beyond. It is also a source country for men, women and children who fall victim to human trafficking, often coerced into forced labour and prostitution.
”Tajikistan is committed to working with international partners for support against transnational organized crimes such as drug trafficking and terrorism. Expanding international law enforcement cooperation with INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, is essential to fighting such crimes and is important to national and regional security,‟ said Minister Rakhimov.
With the INTERPOL Chief also meeting during his visit the Head of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Dushanbe, Dzhamshed Mashrapov, Mr Noble said: “Strong security cooperation with Tajikistan and Central Asia underpins the efforts of law enforcement worldwide against terrorism and international crime.”
In this respect Secretary General Noble cited how the enhanced use by Tajikistan of INTERPOL’s global tools had seen the number of INTERPOL Notices issued so far in 2013 at the country’s request reach a historical high. Tajikistan’s use of INTERPOL’s Stolen Motor Vehicle database also doubled between 2011 and 2012.
“The law enforcement authorities in Tajikistan understand the continuing and enhanced need for an international collaborative approach against transnational organized crime, and the role played by INTERPOL’s global policing tools in empowering frontline officers to ensure greater security for citizens,” added Mr Noble.
Also on the agenda during Mr Noble’s mission to Dushanbe was INTERPOL’s Travel Document, intended to ease the provision of urgent assistance by the world police body to its 190 member countries and the deployment of law enforcement officials travelling on INTERPOL-related matters.
To date, 60 countries have recognized the INTERPOL Travel Document in both its forms (e-Passport Booklet and/or e-Identification Card).
Mr Noble’s mission to Tajikistan was his 166th official visit to an INTERPOL member country since he was first elected Secretary General in 2000, marking his ongoing commitment to learn first-hand the needs of member countries and identify ways that INTERPOL can help them keep their citizens safe and fight crime internationally.