LYON, France – The conflict in Ukraine and linked security threats posed by organized crime are among the issues to be addressed at the INTERPOL European Regional Conference.
Meeting in person for the first time since 2019, some 120 senior policing officials from 50 countries will be updated on INTERPOL’s response to the current security situation and its assessment on regional and global crime threats and trends.
Although information from member countries close to the conflict zone suggests the number of human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases is not as high as first believed, there remains a significant risk of human trafficking and smuggling among the refugee population.
Other crimes linked to the conflict include an increase in financial and cybercrimes such as online scams, phishing, and malware deployment. Rises in fertilizer and pesticide prices are resulting in greater counterfeit production, and fuel theft has become a highly lucrative activity for both individual offenders and criminal networks.
Delegates will also be briefed on the INTERPOL Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre (IFCACC) which was launched earlier this year.
Providing a rapid response for victims of fraud, IFCACC has already helped intercept millions of Euros and is providing assistance to law enforcement agencies across Africa, Europe and the Americas in ongoing efforts to combat the Black Axe organized crime group.
INTERPOL President Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi said the European region continues to lead in making INTERPOL a pillar of its security strategies.
“Europe will always find in INTERPOL a secure, neutral gateway for police, within its borders and bridging out to the rest of the world,” said President Al-Raisi.
INTERPOL’s European region remains the most active, providing more than 50 per cent of the 122 million records in INTERPOL’s databases, and having conducted more than one billion searches so far in 2022.
“Since we last came together in Poland, the region, and the world, have been shaken by events that have disturbed our global order in a way that has not been matched in decades,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock in his address to delegates.
“It is a challenge we can rise to, and overcome, by focusing on what unites us and what we all aspire to fulfill: A more secure Europe, in a safer world,” concluded Secretary General Stock.
Identifying areas for enhanced cooperation with regional bodies in order to avoid duplication will also be a key area for discussion during the three-day (17 – 19 May) meeting.
One example of a successful collaboration is the recent launch of the Frontex INTERPOL Electronic Library Document System (FIELDS).
A joint initiative between INTERPOL and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, FIELDS provides police officers and border guards visual information on the key markers that can indicate a counterfeit or forged document.