INTERPOL Asian conference recognizes INTERPOL tools as key to further regional successes

7 March 2008

Hong Kong , China – INTERPOL’s 20th Asian Regional Conference called for more regional action and increased use of INTERPOL tools and services to combat transnational crime, including terrorism and child sex tourism, as it closed on Friday.

Delegates from 32 countries throughout Asia, the South Pacific and the Middle East recommended that INTERPOL’s member countries undertake regional operations and make more efficient use of INTERPOL Notices and databases, particularly in efforts to trace and apprehend child sex offenders - whether in their country of origin or the country in which they have committed crimes.

The recommendations were part of a series approved by the delegates at the meeting which addressed vital policing issues in the region and came just hours after news of the arrest in Thailand of a notorious alleged illegal arms dealer, Viktor Bout, the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice.

“Crimes which transcend national boundaries require actions and solutions which can only be achieved by acting at institutional, transnational level rather than by any individual country,” said INTERPOL’s Vice President for Asia and Conference Chairman, Mr. Khoo Boon Hui.

“INTERPOL's role is to ensure that international co-operation between law enforcement agencies is translated into effective action on the ground”, Mr. Khoo said.

The conference – held by INTERPOL Hong Kong, China, in its capacity as a sub-bureau of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) China, at their police headquarters – called for NCBs in the Asian region to encourage national law enforcement agencies to regularly consult and update INTERPOL’s databases and extend their use to border police, investigative units, and customs and intelligence agencies.

“One of INTERPOL’s greatest strengths is that ours is an organization where the knowledge and experience of each of its member countries is valued and respected, and where everyone is engaged in the common purpose of enhancing the well-being and security of all our citizens,” said INTERPOL General Secretary Ronald K. Noble.

“This conference will have made a vital contribution towards that goal by emphasizing Asia’s pivotal role both for INTERPOL and the international law enforcement community”.

The INTERPOL of the 21st Century has repeatedly demonstrated its importance in helping law enforcement agencies in its member countries bring dangerous suspected international criminals to justice.  In Asia alone there has been the arrest in Thailand of the world’s most hunted alleged child sexual predator, Christopher Paul NEIL, as part of INTERPOL’s Operation VICO; the arrest in Nepal of the alleged illegal organ transplant suspect, Dr Amit Kumar, following the issue of an INTERPOL Red Notice at the request of India; and most recently the arrest in Thailand of Viktor Bout, charged with conspiring to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

These arrests were the result of close international police co-operation between INTERPOL and the fine work of dedicated law enforcement officers in Asia in identifying, locating and arresting these suspected dangerous international criminals.