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15 April 2015

INTERPOL meeting of Asian police chiefs focuses on evolving crime threats

SINGAPORE – Senior law enforcement officials from across Asia and the South Pacific are gathering in Singapore for the 22nd INTERPOL Asian Regional Conference. It will focus on strengthening regional efforts against transnational crime and criminal networks.

Gathering more than 160 senior law enforcement officials from some 30 countries in the region and international organizations, the response by global law enforcement to crime in the digital age is a key topic at the three-day event (15 - 17 April).

The conference will also focus on a range of international law enforcement issues affecting the Asian region, including terrorism, environmental security, human trafficking, pharmaceutical crime, sports integrity, trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting, as well as capacity building and training.

Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli, said the conference was an important platform for INTERPOL member countries in the region to share experiences and best practices, and to forge law enforcement partnerships against crime and terrorism.

“Linkages between organized crime and terrorist networks represent an evolving threat. This includes the funding of terrorist groups through the illegal activities of organized crime networks,” said the Minister.

“Terrorists are opportunistic and difficult to detect, especially home-grown terrorists. They are all potential time-bombs that can destabilize the safety and security of our region and will require collective inter-agency and international efforts to tackle them.”

The minister said that annual earnings by transnational organized crime groups in the Asia-Pacific region were estimated to be worth USD 360 billion.

Describing Asia as a region of phenomenal diversity, exponential growth and rising potential to lead the 21st century, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock described transnational crime as ‘a common enemy’.

“For police cooperation to truly succeed worldwide, it also needs to be strengthened through all layers – locally, nationally and regionally. Only then can a befitting response be formulated to combat transnational crime in every country, across every region,” said Secretary General Stock.

The Head of INTERPOL highlighted the need to engage with all law enforcement agencies, and to share information via INTERPOL’s global tools to fight all types of crime, including those of the digital era.

“We strongly encourage the increased use of INTERPOL’s wide array of tools for our mutual benefit. This includes populating databases for information sharing with other police forces and extending INTERPOL’s support beyond its National Central Bureaus to the frontlines,” added Mr Stock.

The audience heard that the newly-inaugurated INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) had been created to provide global support against cybercrime as well as to serve 21st century crime-fighting needs, as these evolve.

In addition to the IGCI inauguration, INTERPOL’s Asian Regional Conference is part of a week of INTERPOL events in Singapore which include the INTERPOL World 2015 forum.

Singapore 2nd Minister Masagos Zulkifli - ARC 2015 - 15 April 2015

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock - ARC 2015 - 15 April 2015