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30 April 2010 - Media release

Senegal endorsement of INTERPOL travel documents a first for West Africa

LYON, France – Senegal has become the first country in West Africa and fourth INTERPOL member country after Pakistan, Brazil and Swaziland to formally recognize INTERPOL travel documents (passport/identification card) in a move that will facilitate international police co-operation.

Senegal’s decision, announced by its Directorate General of Police, to 'exempt all bearers of INTERPOL travel documents from visa requirements when on mission to Dakar’ was praised by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble  as 'another important step forward in boosting regional and international police co-operation’.

“Officials who travel on police business using INTERPOL travel documents, often at the request of a member country in response to a terrorist attack, serious crime or natural disaster, need to be in place as quickly as possible,” said Mr Noble.

“Giving INTERPOL travel documents visa waiver status or the same legal recognition as the United Nations laissez-passer significantly increases not only our ability to provide faster on-site assistance, but also for law enforcement officials in each of our 188 member countries to provide mutual support where needed and when requested.”

“As more countries grant special status to INTERPOL travel documents, the more effective INTERPOL's support will become,” added Secretary General Noble.

Senegal so far this year leads African countries in the number of border checks carried out against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, containing over 21 million entries from almost 150 countries.