INTERPOL Brasilia tackles security challenges to South America’s first Olympic Games

With almost seven decades of dedicated INTERPOL membership, and having hosted many international, cultural, and sporting events over those decades, Brazil has a strong understanding of the importance trans-border police cooperation plays in fighting crime and keeping Brazil safe.

With the Rio2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games about to launch in Brazil’s Cidade Maravilhosa (or Marvellous City), one of the country’s top security officials, Andrei Rodrigues, agreed to speak about what Brazil is doing to make South America’s first Olympic Games safe for the hundreds of thousands of people involved.

Major Events Chief at Brazil’s Ministry of Justice, Rodrigues is in command of almost 50,000 security professionals who will focus exclusively on keeping athletes, spectators and the people of Rio safe throughout the Olympic and Paralympic competitions.

Embracing the Olympic security challenge

Major Events Chief Andrei Rodrigues, Ministry of Justice, Brazil

Keeping the Olympics safe for both the Carioca – that is what we call the people of Rio – and the thousands of overseas visitors to Rio has given Brazil’s National Police one of its biggest police operations and challenges in its history.

We are in the process of accommodating more than 11,000 athletes and their support teams of 7,000 men and women from 205 countries. We also have a further 45,000 volunteers, 25,000 journalists, 3,200 referees and sporting assistants and 500,000 spectators to keep safe throughout the events.

With this in mind, we have deployed 85,000 police officers to the streets of Rio and 38,000 army officers to Rio’s critical infrastructures for patrol and protection throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The other challenge is keeping people safe, and confident in their security, without spoiling the way they enjoy the Games. Brazil must make the events accessible and welcoming whilst keeping thousands of people safe from crime and violence. Yet we cannot conduct our security operations like we do in airports; we have to remain discreet yet reassuringly visible.

Intelligence is a fundamental feature of event security, and one that permits the less obtrusive provision of security services. Knowing who people are, what they are doing and why they are doing it, is what enables police to anticipate threats, take steps to prevent them, and keep people safe.

Global police cooperation

Security at this kind of international event is a global responsibility requiring close cooperation between law enforcement entities worldwide. With the Olympic and Paralympic Games attracting people from literally the whole world, the intelligence we work on has also to go beyond Brazilian borders.

Because INTERPOL is the only police organization that provides access to criminal data from police forces in 190 countries, Brazil has made sure that its global databases and specialized teams are an integral part of Olympic security arrangements.

In Rio and Brasilia we have set up command and coordination centres called ‘International Police Cooperation Centres (IPCC)’, staffed 24/7 by Brazil’s police, army, customs and intelligence services who will collect, analyse and share the kind of criminal intelligence field officers need. IPCC staff also includes 250 police officers from 55 different countries sent by their police forces to share intelligence and advice in their areas of domestic and regional law enforcement expertise.

The Rio IPCC will have an operational role whilst Brasilia will focus more on data analysis and international police coordination. Both IPCCs have a hotline with the security centres in Rio’s four Olympic hubs: Barra da Tijuca (Olympic village), Maracana Complex (opening and closing ceremonies), Deodoro and Copacabana.

Mobile IPCC teams will be on the look-out for suspicious behaviour, gathering intelligence, drafting affidavits in the appropriate language and checking identities against INTERPOL’s global criminal databases whenever a foreign national commits an offence.

It is a sound and tried system that has proved its worth, especially during the recent World Cup in Brazil where we had 205 officers from 37 countries working around the clock to help make the event safe. Over the past two years, Brazilian specialists have travelled the world to observe security arrangements at major sporting events (Winter Olympic Games, Superbowl, Tour de France, Boston and Berlin marathons), shadowing security forces in place to learn from their experiences.

It must be said that one of my closest allies in making Rio2016 a secure event is INTERPOL Brasilia, a close partner in the Ministry of Justice and one which gives the Brazilian police the international outreach it needs to help make the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games safe.


“The Netherlands will contribute to Olympic security by sending officers to Brazil’s IPCC for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For the Netherlands, it is simple. An Olympic event is a unique global event attracting people from all over and potentially creating threats that are also global. With INTERPOL linking police in 190 countries, it is the best possible answer we have to provide on-site police cooperation to tackle organized crime and terrorism.”

John Tamerus, Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau for the Netherlands (The Hague).

INTERPOL and the Olympics: a shared mission

Rogério Galloro, Executive Director of Brazil’s Federal Police

Before making its way to Rio via 36,000 km of Brazilian highland, rainforest, waterway and airspace, the Olympic torch crossed thousands of kilometres of Greek territory, transiting also through Switzerland’s Olympic Museum. This prestigious flame has travelled to the most isolated areas of Brazil, making itself accessible to 90% of the population, including our native populations in the remotest areas of the Amazon rainforest.


Just as the Olympic flame travels from one continent to another to serve the Olympics, so too does critical INTERPOL data. The remotest areas of any continent are no challenge to the world’s largest police organization, which makes its police databases accessible, in real-time, to officers in every possible location, no matter how isolated. If police officers need the data, INTERPOL will find the technical solution to make it happen. Why? Because this is the only way to prevent and stop crime: right there in the field where it happens.

More than a decade ago, Brazil was amongst the first countries to give national law enforcement access to INTERPOL databases. This has been a huge boost to national security. Today, essential INTERPOL police data is at the fingertips of law enforcement officials at every Brazilian land, sea and airport border point in each of Brazil’s 26 states and its Federal District. Every day and night, to get through border control, even in the most remote locations, visitors to Brazil have their passport checked against INTERPOL’s global database of 59 million stolen and lost travel documents. Brazilian embassies in all continents check visa applicants against INTERPOL databases. We believe this is the most effective way of preventing criminals, including terrorists, from entering Brazil. We also strongly believe that this will help us keep the Olympic and Paralympic Games safe.

Boosting police skillsets

In the build-up to the Olympics, raising awareness and strengthening law enforcement’s ability to tackle sports crimes has been a fundamental part of the training support INTERPOL has provided in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Brazil has made sure all staff – law enforcement and administrative alike – have the knowledge they need to confront the widest possible variety of security challenges the Olympic Games will present.

Because integrity is a fundamental problem to all major sporting events across the globe, an INTERPOL training course was recently delivered in Brazil to police officers, judges, prosecutors, members of the national lottery, sports federations and academia, to help all entities involved in the Rio Olympics know how to recognize and deal with integrity crime.

With sports crime typically spanning international borders for profits that are often channeled into other illegal activities, the 60 trainees were given insight into legal tools available for dealing with competition manipulation, sports betting, doping and other serious sporting crimes. Other courses have focused on building specialist sports investigation capacities with an emphasis on case evaluation, evidence collection and information exchange.

Federal Police preparedness

Brazil’s job during the Olympics is to deliver excellent customer service to all Olympic audiences whilst enforcing stringent security rules. Experience has taught us that sharing security responsibilities across different law enforcement agencies and governments, rather than just organizing committees, is the most effective and comprehensive way of keeping events safe. We also are aware of how important border reinforcement and international police cooperation are to making an event safe.

Brazil has proved its ability to keep prestigious international sporting events secure. We have hosted major international events with the participation of numerous countries and thousands of people. My government has spared few resources – financial, human and training – to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games safe, and we have INTERPOL security capabilities to help us. Brazil is prepared.

Experts from INTERPOL’s Project Stadia will also be in Rio during the Games. INTERPOL established Project Stadia in 2012 to create a Centre of Excellence and develop good practice guides to help INTERPOL member countries plan and execute physical and cybersecurity preparations for major sporting events. Funded by Qatar, Project Stadia also conducts observation and debriefing programmes with security officials from both the public and private sectors and is developing a state-of-the-art web-based knowledge management system which all member countries can contribute to and benefit from. With Brazil having participated in several Project Stadia workshops, the 2016 Olympics will provide valuable information about the development and delivery of policing and security arrangements since the country hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
03 August 2016

INTERPOL team in Brazil to support security measures during Rio Olympics

BRASILIA, Brazil – An INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST), including counter-terrorism experts, has been deployed to Brazil to assist with security measures during the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.In addition to the nearly 11,000 athletes, some 500,000 tourists will be among the six million ticket holders attending events in Rio de Janeiro as B...

Major Events Chief Andrei Rodrigues, Ministry of Justice, Brazil


Olympic security arrangements for Rio2016 include the deployment of an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST) for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to help Brazil exploit INTERPOL’s full array of databases, including fingerprints, photos, fugitives and data relating to stolen and lost travel documents and stolen motor vehicles. This enables border control officers to prevent criminals from entering Brazil using falsified, stolen or lost passports to conceal their identities and perpetrate their crime.

INTERPOL maintains a database of suspected foreign terrorist fighters. Data is analysed and insights are shared with INTERPOL’s membership, including intelligence on the capabilities, means and emerging trends of foreign terrorist fighters. This database is one of the many INTERPOL policing capabilities made available to Brazil’s IPCC to ensure potential foreign fighters are not allowed access to the Olympic Games.

Passenger manifests: pre-arrival data on passengers and crewmembers

"At any time, the IPCC centres will know exactly who is on any plane destined for Brazil, if their passport is reported lost or stolen to INTERPOL, and if a traveller has a criminal record in any of INTERPOL’s member countries. IPCC staff will know all of this before the plane even lands on Brazilian soil.

As part of the ongoing security network put in place for the Olympic and Paralympic games, Brazil is conducting an average of one million checks against INTERPOL’s databases for SLTD and wanted persons every day, making it one of the highest users in the world."

Head NCB Brasilia, Federal Police Commissioner Valdecy Urquiza

Rogério Galloro, Executive Director of Brazil’s Federal Police

galloro 2

CHECKPOL: INTERPOL Brasilia’s smartphone application for locating Brazil’s fugitives and missing people

Brazil’s Federal Police has launched a smartphone application enabling the public to access data on missing people and fugitives wanted by the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) for Brazil. The application gives access to names, photographs and information on the types of crimes committed.

Checks on the Brazilian NCB list of more than 44,000 people – including 477 Brazilian nationals – can now be made anywhere in the world via smartphone or tablet. Brazil hopes this application will boost its global investigations to locate fugitives and missing people.

Available in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish, the app provides an easy-to-use and confidential reporting system for global users.

Head NCB Brasilia

“Society’s role in helping to locate international criminals is central to successful fugitive investigations, and will greatly help INTERPOL Brasilia in the location and arrest of criminals on the run. CheckPol is a tool that helps to make the world a safer place.”

Head NCB Brasilia, Federal Police Commissioner, Valdecy Urquiza Júnior

INTERPOL Brasilia’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives - Portuguese language

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