LYON/THE HAGUE – A unanimously endorsed resolution by the United Nations Security Council calling on all 192 member countries to work with INTERPOL and Europol to fight criminal networks involved in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia has been hailed as 'an important step forward' by both organizations.
UN resolution 1950 (2010) 'urges states, in co-operation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation' and welcomes the ongoing work in developing guidance to seafarers on preservation of crime scenes following acts of piracy to assist law enforcement in eventual successful prosecutions.
Describing maritime piracy as an international organized crime problem requiring a collaborative approach, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that the UN resolution, adopted on Monday, recognized that international law enforcement provided the critical link between arrests made through military interventions and the investigation and prosecution of maritime pirates and associated criminal networks.
"INTERPOL has long asserted that maritime piracy is a classic transnational crime problem which may occur on the high seas but is part of a wider global network where organized criminals target victims, take them hostage and extort ransoms, leaving a money trail for law enforcement to follow and investigate," said Mr Noble.
"A multi-faceted approach that pools resources and forges strategic partnerships is key to bringing about change and deliver better resources to address this problem, and in this respect, INTERPOL's strong partnership with Europol, as highlighted in the UN resolution, will be crucial to addressing maritime piracy off Somalia," concluded Secretary General Noble.
Director of Europol Rob Wainwright very much welcomed the Security Council's resolution as an endorsement of the significant results already achieved.
"Europol is eager to contribute to effective action against maritime piracy, which continues to pose a threat to international security. Europol's role is to assist European investigators and authorities dealing with European citizens and companies involuntarily affected by acts of maritime piracy off Somalia's coast.
"We will take full advantage of the excellent co-operation arrangements that exist between Europol and INTERPOL to indentify the key perpetrators, their criminal networks and activities," added Mr Wainwright.
Collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol in information exchange and analysis of piracy related material has already resulted in the identification of links between a number of cases and individuals based on DNA, fingerprint and telephone analysis.
INTERPOL and Europol also collaborate with other international and regional bodies against maritime piracy, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).