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11 September 2015

Enhancing forensic skills for maritime security focus of INTERPOL training in Singapore

SINGAPORE – Providing forensic officers with the necessary skills to face the challenges of processing evidence at a maritime crime scene was the focus of an INTERPOL training course in Singapore.

Maintaining the chain of custody required for successful prosecutions was also a key element during the INTERPOL Advanced Course on Forensic Examination held at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, which brought together officers from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Singapore Police Coast Guard.

Practical crime scene investigation training was provided by INTERPOL and the National University of Malaysia using the mock ship facility of the Singapore Police Coast Guard, in addition to a simulated trial hosted by the National University of Singapore.

First Admiral Maritime Dato Zulkifli bin Abu Bakar, Director of the Maritime Criminal Investigation Department of the MMEA said: “The MMEA is in the process of developing a standard operating procedure in forensics which will enable swift decision-making processes and pre-planned responses for any eventualities.

“By attending the Advance Course in Forensic Examination, coordinated by a leading law enforcement organization such as INTERPOL, the MMEA’s forensic officers will be able to increase their proficiency in law enforcement, while at the same time validating the standard operating procedures that have been developed,” concluded the First Admiral.

INTERPOL’s Director of Capacity Building and Training, Dale Sheehan said: “With the globalization of criminal syndicates, strong infrastructures with sustainable capacities are key to successful law enforcement.

“Pirates will always be looking for easy targets and easy money. To strike at the heart of maritime piracy, we must ensure that all actors involved in maritime law enforcement are able to deal with the increasingly sophisticated piracy network,” added Mr Sheehan.

Building on a basic training programme held in Malaysia earlier this year the advanced five-day (7-11 September) course was run in parallel with the INTERPOL Forensics Workshop for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, which enabled participants to liaise with INTERPOL officials and experts from across the region.

Forensic equipment and materials have also been donated to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency in order to support the agency’s enhanced specialized forensic capabilities.

The training is part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme to Foster Maritime Security in Malaysia funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

The programme aims to improve maritime piracy and armed robbery related investigation capacity in Malaysia, as well as to support increased investigative resources, specialized forensic capabilities and improve information-sharing amongst national law enforcement agencies.