LYON, France – Identifying areas for enhanced cooperation in combating corruption and fraud was high on the agenda for the visit of World Bank Integrity Vice President Leonard McCarthy at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters.
Mr McCarthy met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior officials as part of the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2010.
During his visit on Monday, Mr McCarthy also met with officers from INTERPOL’s Anti-Corruption office to identify ways to further enhance cooperation and promote increased information exchange between World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) specialists and the world police body to reduce the scope and incidence of corruption relating to World Bank-funded projects.
Mr McCarthy was also updated on INTERPOL’s Global Focal Point Initiative on Asset Recovery which is partnered with the World Bank StAR initiative to support international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds.
With one of the Integrity Vice Presidency’s (INT) areas of responsibility being to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption, coercion, collusion and obstructive practices relating to World Bank-funded projects, INTERPOL already provides support in a range of areas, including conducting checks on corporations and individuals likely to be engaged in such projects.
“As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the economic crisis, it is more important than ever that all organizations and agencies involved in the fight against corruption and fraud continue and increase their efforts,” said Mr McCarthy.
“The World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency already enjoys a productive and close working relationship with INTERPOL and today’s visit has highlighted areas where we can take this cooperation to the next level.”
INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said: “Corruption poses a threat to the global community’s security and prosperity and INTERPOL is committed to supporting all endeavours in tackling this global scourge.
“Our ongoing and future joint efforts with the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency will enable us to better assist national, regional and international efforts in tackling corruption, building on the successes we have already seen with projects such as the Stolen Asset Recovery initiative and Global Focal Point initiative,” added the INTERPOL Chief.
Launched in January 2009 and currently involving 106 countries, INTERPOL’s Global Focal Point initiative includes a database of law enforcement officials available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to emergency requests for assistance. Such a service is crucial in asset recovery cases where lack of immediate action may cause law enforcement to lose a money trail.
INTERPOL cooperates with the World Bank Group in a number of areas, including combating maritime piracy and environmental crime with projects such as the Global Tiger Initiative.