Preventing use of fraudulent documents in Central Africa focus of INTERPOL-supported meeting
YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – Preventing the use of fraudulent travel and identity documents was the focus of a meeting for law enforcement and partners in Central Africa at the INTERPOL Regional Bureau in Cameroon.
The meeting brought together 20 participants from police, justice, immigration and government agencies in three countries – Cameroon, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo – as well as the International Organization for Migration and the Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC).
Organized by the Regional Bureau and CEMAC and supported by the INTERPOL Counterfeit and Security Documents unit, the three-day meeting (17-19 June) aimed to increase awareness of the security risks posed by stolen or counterfeit travel documents.
After reviewing the current situation in the region, the delegates discussed potential crimes connected to the use of fraudulent or stolen travel and identity documents and were updated on the INTERPOL tools and services available to support law enforcement.
A key example was the INTERPOL Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database, which contains more than 41 million records submitted by 167 countries.
Additionally, the status of recognition of the INTERPOL Travel Document among Central African countries was also reviewed. To date, 72 countries worldwide have accepted the document, which allows law enforcement officials travelling on INTERPOL-related business to bypass visa requirements in order to provide immediate assistance when requested.
Participants encouraged all countries in the region to update and add new records to the SLTD database, and recommended that a training course on counterfeit documents be held for border control agencies.
The meeting comes in advance of the INTERPOL Counterfeit and Security Documents Conference slated for 16 and 17 September, which will gather global experts from law enforcement, government, private industry and international organizations to generate a series of recommendations for combating the use of fraudulent documents.
CEMAC is a regional organization established in 1994 to promote cooperation and exchange among its member countries, as well as to create a common market and effective customs union. In 2013, INTERPOL signed an agreement with CEMAC to promote border security in the region by extending access to INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure police communications system to key border points in across CEMAC member countries.