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10 May 2011 - Media release

INTERPOL Chief at G8 meeting calls for roadmap enshrining systematic co-operation against cocaine trafficking

PARIS, France - The Head of INTERPOL at a G8 security forum in Paris called for a new approach on global co-operation and intelligence-sharing against drug trafficking as he highlighted the key role of INTERPOL as a global platform for operational intelligence exchange against transatlantic cocaine trafficking.

Held under the aegis of France’s Presidency of the G8 and attended by G8 Interior Ministers, international organizations - including INTERPOL, Europol and the UNODC - and representatives from 14 countries affected by the cocaine trade, the forum heard INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble emphasize the need for enhanced international intelligence-sharing and law enforcement co-operation against the trade in cocaine, and the role played by INTERPOL in facilitating access to key information via its global tools and services. The Head of INTERPOL also met French Interior Minister Claude Guéant on the sidelines of the meeting.

Mr Noble outlined how with an estimated global trade amounting to USD 88 billion, more than half of which supplies markets in Europe and North America, international cocaine trafficking represented a global menace to economic and social stability and ‘a very present threat’ to the wellbeing of citizens worldwide requiring a new ‘borderless’ response from the international community.

"Successful interdiction and seizures are important components of an effective anti-cocaine trafficking strategy. But should we stay content with stopping select shipments and routinely denting cocaine supplies, or should we make sure that each seizure, each interdiction, each national investigation brings us closer to our vision of disrupting a global threat?," asked Mr Noble.

"Our common vision should be that of a world where intelligence is gathered at the scene, and then systematically shared via existing global police platforms to trace trafficking networks and dismantle them. Yet we are facing a landscape where regions chosen by traffickers often lack fundamental capacity to rapidly store and share intelligence."

The G8 forum heard how important steps were being taken to address this gap, with the West African Coast Initiative currently seeing INTERPOL work with the United Nations and ECOWAS specifically to create inter-agency Transnational Crime Units able to conduct cross-border intelligence-led investigations.

In parallel, thanks to the support of Canada and the European Commission, Project AIRCOP will see the United Nations, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization combine their strengths to create Joint Interdiction Taskforces at key airports which will access INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure police communications channels and its databases, including the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database containing more than 23 million records from 158 countries.

"Progress through these initiatives tells us we are on the right path, but to truly succeed, they need to be followed by a paradigm shift. Because when it comes to drug trafficking, we have often operated in a new world maintaining old mindsets – and these include the reluctance to share information and intelligence across national borders," added Secretary General Noble.

"Only this new paradigm will one day enable us not just to catch up with drug traffickers and with the next shift in trafficking routes – but to even foresee it and to strike first," concluded Mr Noble, as he called on the G8 forum as a key source for global guidance and impetus to make the systematic international exchange of police intelligence a top priority.

The issues discussed at today’s G8 forum on international drug trafficking will be high on the agenda of INTERPOL’s Americas Regional Conference in Aruba, 6-8 July 2011.