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12 June 2013

Tackling crime from North Africa to South Pacific focus of INTERPOL meeting

MALE, Maldives - Addressing crime issues affecting countries from North Africa to the South Pacific was the focus of an INTERPOL meeting which brought together some 56 law enforcement officers from 25 countries to share experiences and make recommendations for ways to enhance international police cooperation.

The combined 12th Asian and 8th Middle East and North Africa Contact Officers Meetings took place from 10-12 June in the Maldives aimed to expand the scope of information sharing and communication amongst the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) from throughout these regions.

Participants exchanged operational experiences, shared success stories and discussed issues and challenges related to daily policing and cooperation, with a focus on major INTERPOL initiatives across the regions, including trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting, and Project Childhood to combat child sexual exploitation.

During the opening ceremony, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz said the meeting, by bringing together officers from so many different regions of the world, would serve to break down the barriers and promote enhanced communication.

Participants drafted a set of recommendations for ways to improve the working methods of the contact officers network, in particular by reducing any bureaucratic hurdles preventing the sharing of information in a timely manner. Other recommendations included:

  • Increasing the input of information into INTERPOL’s databases;
  • Involving contact officers in more INTERPOL training courses and operations, especially in the area of trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting;
  • Enhancing awareness of each region’s networks and protocols for information sharing.

In addition, Commissioner Riyaz and Assistant Commissioner, Abdulla Phairoosch were presented with their INTERPOL Travel Documents during the meeting.

The INTERPOL Travel Document is intended to speed up the deployment of urgent assistance from the world police body and of officials traveling on INTERPOL-related business. Maldives is one of 60 countries which recognize the INTERPOL Travel Document in one or both of its forms (e-Passport Booklet and/or e-Identification Card), with many others considering recognition in line with their national laws.