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23 October 2013

INTERPOL to help Belarus safeguard 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship

CARTAGENA DE INDIAS, Colombia – INTERPOL is to deploy an INTERPOL Major Event Support Team (IMEST) to Belarus to assist local and national authorities in making the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus as safe as possible for the players, officials and thousands of expected visitors.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Belarus Minister of Internal Affairs, Igor Shunevich and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble on the sidelines of the world police body’s 82nd General Assembly in Colombia, the IMEST will be deployed to Minsk for the duration of the Ice Hockey World Championship (9-25 May 2014).

It will help detect potential threats of terrorism, hooliganism and serious crime, and facilitate the real-time exchange of key police information to assist security both at border entry points and throughout the country.

“Belarus recognizes the experience of INTERPOL and its global tools and services in helping ensure public safety during major international and sports events. We therefore welcome this agreement which will see INTERPOL’s global network support the efforts by Belarus law enforcement agencies to make the Ice Hockey Championship safe and secure for all,” said Belarus Minister of Internal Affairs, Igor Shunevich.

Composed of experienced specialized police officers and operational assistants, the IMEST team will help local police forces by facilitating access to INTERPOL’s secure network which permits the exchange of vital police data such as fingerprints, images, stolen identity documents and wanted person profiles with all 190 INTERPOL member countries, allowing police in the field to quickly identify potential criminals.

“The 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship is an international event which requires international law enforcement collaboration to address potential security risks. The safety of thousands of fans during the event is a priority for INTERPOL, and this agreement with Belarus underlines its commitment to ensuring that the citizens of Belarus as well as visitors can all safely enjoy the Championship,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

IMEST staff in Belarus will be able to process and check thousands of identity profiles with instant, direct access to INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database. It contains information on some 38.6 million travel documents reported as lost or stolen by more than 160 countries, and enables immigration and border control officers to ascertain the validity of a suspect travel document in seconds.