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11 February 2011 - Media release

Singapore announces special visa status to INTERPOL Travel Document holders at historic groundbreaking ceremony

Facilitating international travel of INTERPOL passport holders to enhance country and global security

SINGAPORE – The decision by Singapore to accord special visa status to INTERPOL Travel Document holders has been hailed by the head of the world police organization as a 'significant development' that will enhance international security by ensuring global law enforcement assistance is available when and where needed.

Singapore Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, made the announcement at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new INTERPOL Global Complex (IGC) in Singapore on Friday. The Minister added that the decision on INTERPOL's Travel Document holders, who will be granted a multiple journey visa of up to five years, demonstrated Singapore's support of the world policing body and its initiatives, including the establishment of the Global Complex.

The IGC was unanimously endorsed by INTERPOL's General Assembly in November 2010, and is due to be operational by the end of 2013. It will provide INTERPOL's 188 member countries with cutting edge research and development facilities and boost the organization's global operational capabilities.

Officiating at the groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by senior officials including INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui and Commissioner of Singapore Police Ng Joo Hee, Minister Shanmugam said that Singapore, as an active and supportive member of INTERPOL, was honoured to host the Global Complex which he said 'reflects INTERPOL's status as a truly global entity with an East-West axis and will drive INTERPOL's efforts to stay ahead of the challenges of a new generation of policing and strengthen global law enforcement.'

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble lauded Singapore's decision over the INTERPOL Travel Document as another demonstration of its global leadership which recognized the benefits of planning in advance to provide safety and security to its citizens and visitors, eliminating any unnecessary red tape that can delay INTERPOL's provision of expertise or support when requested by Singapore.

"In a world where threats can strike citizens on any day at any location, the question that each and every country must be able to answer is: 'Did we do everything in our power to make sure that police expertise and support can get to our country or our citizens as soon as possible to prevent crime or facilitate our investigation?'," said Secretary General Noble.

"Now, other countries and regions of the world which are similarly concerned with the security of their citizens and visitors will have to answer the question as to when they will provide this added and necessary level of protection," emphasized the INTERPOL chief.

Mr Noble said that Singapore's decision was of particular significance because of its reputation as one of the safest and most secure countries in the world by making certain it has the best trained officials, using cutting edge technology and employing modern policies and practices designed to fit the threats and challenges of the 21st Century, the core tenets of the INTERPOL Global Complex.