VIENTIANE, Laos – INTERPOL deployed a team during the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane to assist law enforcement authorities in Laos as part of the security infrastructure surrounding the event.
Operating under the umbrella of INTERPOL’s EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II, INTERPOL’s Major Events Support Team (IMEST) trained and assisted Lao authorities prepare, coordinate and implement security arrangements during the summit.
Immigration and INTERPOL National Central Bureau officers carried out enhanced passenger screening and travel document examination at airports and border points, using INTERPOL’s global policing capabilities, including global databases and mobile technology known as MIND (Mobile INTERPOL Network Databases) to access these.
Some 150,000 searches were conducted against INTERPOL’s databases during the deployment of its team, resulting in eight potential threats identified following ‘hits’ against its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and other databases containing information on internationally wanted criminals.
Further investigative leads were also generated in a number of cases – including on two internationally wanted persons targeted by Red Notices in connection with fraud charges.
"The Lao authorities are grateful for INTERPOL’s role in helping make the ASEAN Summit safe by deploying an IMEST to Laos for the first time. For police to be effective in securing such major events, it is vital that they have the all the information they need, when and where they need it, and this is especially true at border control points,” said the Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Vientiane, Kenechanh Phommachack.
Funded by the EU and implemented by INTERPOL, the three-year EU-ASEAN programme aims to strengthen law enforcement networks, collaboration, as well as information exchange and access at main regional transit hubs. It was launched in Jakarta in October 2015.
“This programme has been providing police and immigration officials throughout the region with the policing capabilities to better manage the movement of people across borders and we are pleased that through our collaborative efforts we are able to see it implemented in Laos for the first time,” said Léon Paul Faber, Head of the EU Delegation in Vientiane.
Michael O’Connell, Director of INTERPOL’s Operational Support and Analysis Directorate, said: “The EU-ASEAN programme is enabling INTERPOL to work with its member countries throughout the ASEAN region and beyond to increase their capacity to secure their borders. This also includes rescuing victims of human trafficking and identifying those involved in people smuggling and other serious crimes.”
The ten ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.