INTERPOL Chief offers continued support to ASEANAPOL to address regional and global security threats
JAKARTA, Indonesia – INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock has told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Chiefs of Police (ASEANAPOL) conference that the world police body will always remain a reliable partner in the fight against regional and international crime.
In his keynote address, the INTERPOL Chief said the Organization provides a secure gateway to connect law enforcement around the globe, particularly in the face of fast-evolving changes to the security landscape.
Mr Stock highlighted the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters – the United Nations estimates more than 25,000 such fighters from more than 100 countries have travelled to conflict zones – many of whom attempt to cover their tracks when returning by taking tortuous routes around the world, including through Southeast Asia.
With all ASEANAPOL member countries participants of INTERPOL’s Project Pacific, focusing on the foreign terrorist fighter threat in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, Secretary General Stock said there is already a strong basis for future, enhanced cooperation.
“The future seems poised to witness a revised role of international police cooperation in strengthening the global security architecture,” said Secretary General Stock.
“The threats facing the ASEAN region, and indeed INTERPOL’s entire membership of 190 countries, are dynamic and interconnected in ways which no single national or regional police authority can deal with on its own,” concluded Mr Stock, encouraging the region to share even more information at the international level.
Secretary General Stock pointed to successful recent joint efforts with ASEANAPOL through the INTERPOL Liaison Office in Bangkok including Operation First Light 2014, targeting social engineering fraud such as spear-phishing or fraudulent phone calls asking for personal or financial information generating hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit profits for criminals.
In addition to the arrest of more than 20 individuals and the identification of a number of syndicate heads, Chinese Police indicated a reduction of 40 per cent in telecom fraud as a result of the operation.
Operation Aces, targeting illegal online gambling and financial fraud in Asia conducted in June and July, led to the arrest of nearly 50 individuals accused of operating multiple illegal gambling offices handling more than USD 10 million.
In addition to assisting member countries protect their citizens from crime committed in the virtual world, Secretary General Stock also highlighted INTERPOL’s border protection initiatives, including the ‘EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme’ to be launched in October.
The three-year programme, funded by the European Union, will enhance competencies of law enforcement agencies dealing with border management in the ASEAN community through specialized training on INTERPOL’s tools and services, international law enforcement communication and mutual assistance, with an additional focus on human smuggling and trafficking.
The recent opening of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, whilst dealing with the broader realm of issues impacting global policing, will also play a role in enabling the Organization to better serve the ASEAN region.