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05 November 2013 - Media release

Slovakia marks 20 years of international police cooperation via INTERPOL

Secretary General's assistance sought to obtain return of fugitive Karol Mello charged with murder

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Marking the 20th anniversary of Slovakia’s membership of INTERPOL, Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the country’s strategic location and commitment to international policing has placed it at the forefront of the global law enforcement community.

During his mission to Bratislava on Monday the INTERPOL Chief met with Minister of Interior Robert Kalinak, Secretary of Justice Monika Jankovska and Police President Tibor Gaspar with a key issue the enhanced cooperation via the world body for the identification and extradition of fugitives to stand trial.

Discussions included the case of Slovakian national Karol Mello who has been charged with the murder of a mother and child in Bratislava in 2004 and is currently living in Belize, following his arrest in Poland and subsequent release from Slovakia. Secretary General Noble offered to directly contact the Belize government to underline the importance of fugitives being brought to justice.

Mr Noble also met with staff at the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Bratislava which was praised by Police President Gaspar for its constant evolvement during the past 20 years and close collaboration with the General Secretariat and wider INTERPOL network.

“INTERPOL plays a vital role in the fight against crime by enabling national police throughout the world to work together, to make the world a safer place,” said Police President Gaspar.

“The technical and operational support provided by INTERPOL are essential in helping all countries combat crime, nationally, regionally and globally,” added Mr Gaspar.

With Slovakia among the most active users of INTERPOL’s databases, in particular the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and Stolen Motor Vehicles databases – which together contain more than 46 million entries - Secretary General Noble said its proactive approach to law enforcement was a model for other countries.

“Slovakia clearly recognizes the value of international police cooperation as demonstrated by its continuous and successful contribution since becoming a member of INTERPOL 20 years ago,” said Mr Noble pointing to Slovakia’s strong involvement in INTERPOL’s Operation Infra-Red (International Fugitive Round-up and Arrest Red Notice), which led to the arrest of some of Slovakia's most wanted in countries around the world.

“We have seen significant changes to the challenges facing law enforcement during the past 20 years, and we will face other evolving threats in the future, but it is with the valuable support of member countries such as Slovakia that we can work together in making the world a safer place,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

One of the first countries to connect to INTERPOL’s secure police communications system I-24/7 following its launch in 2002, Slovakia has also since expanded access to all border control points, enabling real-time access to frontline officers.

During the 2011 World Ice Hockey Championships, Slovakia benefitted from INTERPOL’s global network support through the deployment of an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST) to assist with the preparation, coordination and implementation of security arrangements ahead of and during the event.

Slovakia also participated in the joint INTERPOL-Europol Operation Opson II in 2012, in which more than 135 tonnes of potentially dangerous food and drink products were seized across the 29 participating countries worldwide.