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17 May 2013 - Media release

INTERPOL Chief’s first mission to Latvia recognizes country’s role in combating transnational crime

RIGA, Latvia – In his first mission to Latvia as INTERPOL Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble met with senior government and police officials to review crime threats and identify opportunities to further enhance the country’s global law enforcement cooperation via INTERPOL.

The INTERPOL Chief’s discussions with Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis and State Police Commissioner Ints Kuzis also focused on the importance of frontline access to the world police body’s global tools, with Latvia having seen a major increase in the number of hits against INTERPOL’s databases after implementing technical solutions enabling remote checks to be carried out.

One success highlighted during the Secretary General’s visit was the key role played by Latvia in an INTERPOL-coordinated operation codenamed Eastbound, which resulted in the arrest of the suspected mastermind behind a global car smuggling ring, estimated to have trafficked luxury and sports vehicles worth around EUR 6 million between 2009 and 2012.

“INTERPOL’s assistance to its member countries is much more effective when our global tools are placed directly in the hands of frontline police, as we have seen here in Latvia,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Latvia’s commitment and investment in global police cooperation via INTERPOL is paying back dividends, in their ability to identify and arrest internationally wanted persons attempting to evade justice or locating stolen cars being trafficked and the transnational organized crime groups behind these activities.

“With their plans for continued expansion of access to INTERPOL’s global tools, Latvia will continue to see even more successes and the increased safety and security of their citizens and visitors,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

During his mission to Latvia – making it the 165th country visited since becoming Secretary General in 2000 – Mr Noble, accompanied by INTERPOL’s Director of Cabinet Roraima A. Andriani, also met with staff at the National Central Bureau in Riga where they were updated on recent activities.