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04 April 2013 - Media release

Enhanced law enforcement cooperation focus of visit by Lebanese security Chief to INTERPOL

World police body to help Lebanon boost its border security

LYON, France – A series of security measures aimed at enhancing Lebanon’s border controls has been agreed during a meeting between the Director General of General Security Directorate of Lebanon, Maj Gen Abbas Ibrahim, and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

During Director General Ibrahim’s visit to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters on Thursday, agreement was reached on INTERPOL deploying its MIND/FIND state-of-the-art passport screening system at key border control points in Lebanon, including airports, providing real-time access to INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.

Direct access to the database by front line law enforcement officers in Lebanon will enable the instant identification of persons seeking to conceal their true identity, including internationally wanted persons, suspected terrorists and transnational criminals.

INTERPOL’s SLTD database contains some 36 million documents accessible by INTERPOL’s 190 member countries. It has been accessed more than 50 million times each month on average in 2013 by law enforcement authorities around the world.

Director General Ibrahim said that enhancing international law enforcement cooperation via INTERPOL was a priority for Lebanon in order to boost public safety: “Combating organized crime and terrorism are priority security issues for Lebanon. We expect our international collaboration with INTERPOL to expand in the interest of national, regional and international security.”

Other measures agreed during the visit will see Lebanon’s national police system integrate INTERPOL’s database of Red Notices identifying internationally wanted persons, and link up with INTERPOL’s stolen motor vehicle database. Stolen motor vehicles represent a key security issue in Lebanon, as testified by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harirri in February 2005 by a bomb placed in a vehicle stolen in Japan.

“INTERPOL’s enhanced cooperation with Lebanon will enhance its ability to identify and investigate criminal and terrorist activity for the benefit of Lebanon and the entire region as well,” said Secretary General Noble.

“The security measures agreed today with Director General Ibrahim therefore represent a significant step forward and highlight the commitment by Lebanon’s authorities to an international collaborative approach to security,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

INTERPOL also agreed to co-host with Lebanese authorities the first-ever global meeting of immigration and border security heads to share successful approaches on border protection and the screening of persons crossing borders.

With Director General Ibrahim’s delegation including former INTERPOL Executive Committee Member Gen Georges Boustani, Secretary General Noble accepted an invitation to travel to Lebanon to meet with law enforcement, border security and immigration officials to identify additional ways in which Lebanon and INTERPOL can enhance their mutual cooperation.