PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – An INTERPOL project on migration and border management, funded by the European Union (EU) and supported by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), was officially closed today following the successful expansion of access to INTERPOL’s tools and services to frontline police in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Launched in December 2009, the project to enhanced exchange of information between INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and the General Secretariat headquarters by extending capacity and regional cooperation has seen the connection of 16 sites - eight in Cambodia and eight in Vietnam - to I-24/7, INTERPOL’s secure global communications system.
Using technical solutions developed by INTERPOL, officers at key locations across Cambodia and Vietnam, such as international airports and regional police offices, can now instantly access and carry out real time searches of INTERPOL’s global databases, including of 'Stolen and Lost Travel Documents' which currently contains nearly 33 million entries from more than 150 countries.
Mr Dominic Suc, Assistant Director with INTERPOL’s Information Systems and Technology directorate said the successful implementation of the project demonstrated the excellent cooperation between major stakeholders in the South East region and in Cambodia and Vietnam in particular.
“This expansion will significantly enhance the capacities of the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus in Phnom Penh and Hanoi by providing frontline officers at major border points with real-time access to INTERPOL databases.
“Building this capacity will facilitate the exchange of police information and improved regional co-operation especially when benefitting from the latest technology is one of key factors for successful police cooperation," concluded Mr Suc.
Simona Palma, Project Manager of the EU Delegation in Indonesia, said, “Economic development and regional integration have led to an increased migration within the ASEAN region, especially by people from the poorer countries seeking opportunities in the more developed ones.
“In such a dynamic setting, INTERPOL has done an important job in facilitating the legal transit of people and goods in and out the Cambodian and Vietnamese capitals and at different cross-border points in the two countries. In so doing, the project helped tackling some of the negative externalities of people and goods transit across borders such as illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings, illicit drug trafficking, arms smuggling, etc. and indirectly fostered economic growth and social development," added Ms Palma.
A ceremony to mark the successful conclusion of the project was hosted by the Cambodian authorities and attended by representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat; the EU Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam; INTERPOL General Secretariat; INTERPOL’s Liaison Office in Bangkok; Heads of the INTERPOL NCBs in Cambodia and Vietnam; project partners and stakeholders.
The EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme under which the INTERPOL expansion project was funded, aims to support the development of an Integrated Border Management System in order to facilitate the legal movements of good and persons, and better combat transnational crime, illegal migration and trafficking in human beings.