LUSAKA, Zambia – Addressing police chiefs from Southern Africa, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said turning information into action is vital in combating transnational crime.
Secretary General Stock highlighted the coordinated work between INTERPOL and SARPCCO police forces during the past 12 months which have resulted in significant outcomes, particularly in protecting the most vulnerable members of communities, women and children.
Operation Batho, conducted in coordination with the UNODC, brought together Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to target trafficking in human beings. The December 2018 operation led to the rescue of nearly 90 victims and the arrest of more than 20 suspected traffickers.
In addition, Operation Basadi, carried out across all SARPCCO member countries, saw female police officers spearheading an operation targeting violence against women and children resulting in the arrest of some 295 suspects.
The INTERPOL Chief said the operational targets were identified following the enhanced analysis capabilities being developed under ENACT: enhancing Africa’s response to transnational organized crime.
“INTERPOL’s engagement revolves around a simple, basic principle: global connectivity is a cornerstone of today’s police effectiveness,” said Secretary General Stock.
“Criminal flows will hit Southern Africa from across the globe so it is essential that law enforcement officers across the region are empowered with access to information from the rest of the world and the means to analyse it,” added the INTERPOL Chief.
At the opening of the SADC/SARPCCO Chiefs of Police meeting, Secretary General Stock said the Organization’s continued support to the region would soon be further enhanced by the establishment of the INTERPOL Cyber Centre of Excellence at the Regional Bureau in Harare.
The head of INTERPOL also pointed to the ongoing I-ONE project which will see the modernization of 31 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) throughout Africa, 10 of which are in Southern Africa. The NCBs will be provided with new equipment so they can better use INTERPOL police services and capabilities.