New INTERPOL platform to fight organized crime in Asia is focus of conference in Singapore

23 January 2008

SINGAPORE - INTERPOL's Global Conference on Asian Organized Crime (AOC), which brings together law enforcement agencies worldwide to share knowledge and best practice on combating this threat, opened in Singapore today. A key objective of the conference is to encourage further joint tactical operations between INTERPOL member countries on Asian organized crime.

Hosted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the two-day meeting brings together more than 200 specialists from 32 countries to discuss a range of issues including casino operations, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, and the characteristics of different organized crime groups across Asia.

'Hosting this Asian Organized Crime conference is an example of how the Singapore Police Force can take the lead in enhancing international co-operation. In 2009, we will also host the 78th INTERPOL General Assembly. This underlines our commitment towards partnering with INTERPOL in creating effective networks against transnational crime,' said the SPF Commissioner, Mr Khoo Boon Hui, who is also INTERPOL’s Executive Committee’s Vice-President for Asia.

Launched in 2006, INTERPOL’s Project AOC was set up to address the need for a permanent platform for international co-operation and intelligence sharing on the threat of Asian organized crime groups. It aims to provide a strategic global overview of organized crime in Asia, to enhance the capability of law enforcement officers worldwide in combating it, and to co-ordinate joint tactical operations between member countries.

Under Project AOC, in November 2007, more than 400 people were arrested across China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam following a five-month operation codenamed Soga (soccer gambling) co-ordinated by INTERPOL that targeted illegal soccer gambling controlled by organized crime gangs.

'All of us know that organized criminals are adaptable, opportunistic and mobile, transcending language and geographic barriers to reach their ends. For global law enforcement to counter organized crime effectively, we have to be equally adaptable,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.