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17 February 2009

Solar power helps Niger and INTERPOL to secure borders

The installation of a solar powered generator at the Torodi border point in Niger – a site which is not supplied with electricity – enabled border police to carry out thousands of checks against INTERPOL’s databases as part of the security operations surrounding the 1st Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) Games.

Equipping frontline police

Torodi was one of four major border crossings in Niger, including the Diori Hamani international airport, which were equipped with laptops and MIND/FIND technology, enabling frontline police to connect to INTERPOL’s databases of more than 17 million Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and over 4.5 million Stolen Motor Vehicles.

"This solar-powered device providing access to INTERPOL’s databases was the best way to ensure the security of visitors to our country during the Games,” said Director General of Niger Police, Issoufou Yacouba.  “Events of this kind attract not only innocent spectators but also criminals and terrorists who will exploit any weak spots in a police operation. The INTERPOL community helped strengthen potential weaknesses by equipping Torodi with the police tools it needed to enhance security.”

Together, officers at the four border points conducted almost 7,000 checks of INTERPOL's databases during the 10 days of the Games which ran from 4 to 14 February. Nearly 2,000 of these were performed by the border police at Torodi which is one of the country’s most-used border crossings, serving as a major gateway to neighbouring countries.

A collective effort

The solar powered solution was identified and implemented through a collaborative effort between the Niger Police, the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Niamey, INTERPOL’s Information Technology unit, its Regional Bureau in Abidjan and its Crisis and Major Events Team deployed to Niger during the Games. This solution is part of INTERPOL’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that frontline police anywhere in the world have access to the Organization’s tools and databases, helping law enforcement authorities in each of its 187 member countries better secure the safety and security of their citizens.