First International Conference on Illicit Cash Couriers held at INTERPOL

16 May 2008

LYON, France – More than 107 senior officials from 49 countries and four International Organizations attended the First International Conference on Illicit Cash Couriers at the INTERPOL General Secretariat from 13-14 May.

Co-hosted by the World Customs Organization, the conference provided an opportunity for police and customs officials to discuss common challenges and to work towards concrete action.

The issue of illicit cash couriers is an increasing global problem. High on the agenda was the link between cash couriers, money laundering and the funding of organized crime groups, in particular terrorism.

Speakers emphasized the importance of strengthened co-operation between law enforcement authorities worldwide to tackle the growing threat, as well as the need to make better use of existing technology, such as expanding access within each member country to INTERPOL’s global police databases.

It was recommended that countries should explore the use of technological devices to detect concealed currency and monetary instruments especially at strategic locations, such as borders, where the illegal transportation of cash is most likely to occur.

The conference closed with a call for countries to actively participate in global illicit cash courier training conferences for police and customs personnel. Only with increased expertise can law enforcement bodies effectively combat illicit cash couriers and overcome the vulnerabilities currently exploited by criminal and terrorist organizations.

Just as criminal organizations work together beyond national boundaries, so must the law enforcement community co-operate internationally, share critical intelligence and translate this knowledge and expertise into effective action on the ground.