SAVANNAKHET and LUANG PRABANG, Laos – Frontline officers at key Lao border points have been connected to INTERPOL’s I-24/7 global police network as part of efforts to secure the region through increased access to INTERPOL databases.
With the newly connected border points located in strategic locations close to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, training courses were delivered in the northern and southern regions of Laos to ensure that officers nationwide can use INTERPOL’s wide range of criminal databases to their full potential.
Representatives from the Japanese Embassy, the Lao INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) and INTERPOL experts from both Lyon and Singapore gathered in Savannakhet (31 July – 2 August) and in Luang Prabang (5 – 7 August) for the two inaugural events.
New equipment and reliable Internet access have been installed at the following seven border crossing points as part of INTERPOL’s iTwin Japan-Laos I-24/7 extension project launched in November 2018:
- Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges 2, 3 and 4
- Luang Prabang Airport (North Laos)
- Pakse Airport (South Laos)
- Dansavanh Checkpoint
- Boten Checkpoint
Laos is a landlocked nation at the heart of the Southeast Asian peninsula, making effective border control central to security and peace throughout the Mekong River region.
The Acting Director of NCB Vientiane, Lieutenant Colonel Sysouphanthong, emphasized the importance of INTERPOL’s global network in empowering law enforcement to tackle transnational crime by providing the means to work together in important border security initiatives of this kind.
The project forms part of INTERPOL’s Twinning programme which facilitates the development of collaborative and mutually beneficial exchanges between two INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCB) or countries.
Funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project builds on the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II under which three border points were connected to the INTERPOL network as part of capacity building efforts in ASEAN transit hubs.
Representing Japan, Tomohiro Tashiro and Tamami Yoshida, First Secretaries at the Japanese Embassy in Lao P.D.R., reminded participants in Savannakhet and Luang Prabang respectively of the global threat posed by returnees or militants, trained in conflict areas in the Middle East and Africa and who are thought to be intensifying terrorist activities in their home countries.