G8 forum recognizes role of INTERPOL tools against 21st Century transnational crime

16 June 2008

TOKYO, Japan – G8 Justice and Home Affairs ministers have pledged to strengthen co-operation in making INTERPOL’s investigative tools even more effective as they recognised the organization’s global and operational role in fighting transnational organized crime.

At the conclusion of the meeting in Tokyo, the ministers recognised the need for national law enforcement forces to incorporate the global tools developed by INTERPOL to combat organized crime, including its databases on International Intellectual Property crime, stolen and lost travel documents, DNA profiles, fingerprints, stolen vehicles and nominal information – all accessible via I-24/7, its secure global police communications system.

The meeting also recommended that law enforcement authorities should continue to enhance their capabilities with global tools such as those offered to its 186 member countries by INTERPOL to improve the chances of identifying and prosecuting criminals using modern technology to exploit opportunities while providing greater anonymity.

“The G8 countries play an active role in supporting their national law enforcement forces and in influencing other countries to reach out for INTERPOL’s global tools," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

The meeting heard how INTERPOL's DNA and fingerprint databases facilitated and operationally helped police in several countries investigate and identify members of a criminal gang known as the Pink Panthers, a transnational crime group specializing in armed robberies on jewellery stores. The group is believed to include at least 200 individuals responsible for more than 90 robberies in 19 countries since 1999, with the value of stolen jewellery estimated at over 100 million Euros.

"The police must recognise that to connect the dots in the 21st century, consulting global databases when investigating serious or violent crime can no longer be the exception, it should be the rule, whether that investigation is national or international," Secretary General Noble said.

“Commitment from the G8 countries to strengthen co-operation with INTERPOL means that we can harness our joint efforts to exchange knowledge, enhance our capabilities and connect the global dots more effectively when fighting transnational organized crime.”

The three-day G8 meeting saw the Justice and Home affairs ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA meet with the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, and INTERPOL’s Secretary General to discuss efforts to counter transnational organized crime.