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28 August 2017

INTERPOL operational training aims to boost ASEAN border security

SINGAPORE – Strengthening border security in Southeast Asia was the focus of an INTERPOL operational training course held under the framework of the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II.

Hosted at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), the five-day (14 – 18 August) Integrated Border Management Operational Training course sought to build the capacity of countries in the region to address border management issues tied to illicit immigration, human trafficking and people smuggling, drawing on INTERPOL’s global policing capabilities.

These include its I-24/7 secure police communications system, international Notices alerts, digital forensics and global databases such as for Stolen and Lost Travel Documents.

“We are living in a more connected world and unfortunately this means we have to deal with the darker side of larger connectivity. That is why this border management training is so important. It enables peer-to-peer discussions and knowledge sharing among law enforcement officers from ASEAN member states, which is crucial for international security cooperation,” said the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Singapore, Michael Pulch.

The EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II was launched in October 2015 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

Funded by the EU and implemented by INTERPOL, the three-year programme aims to support ASEAN in its integration process through the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity.

It seeks to improve people-to-people connectivity by enhancing law enforcement networks and cooperation at main regional transit hubs, and to ease visa requirements for ASEAN and non-ASEAN nationals within the region.

“The EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II deals with some of the greatest challenges of our times – including the growing movement of people crossing borders, which in an ever more global and connected world offers fantastic opportunities for trade, economic growth, human development, cultural exchanges and travel. However, it also present challenges and risks such as human trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime and terrorism,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Capacity Building and Training, Harold O’Connell.

“Due to the transnational nature of current threats to global security, tackling these threats must encompass a close cooperative approach among countries by putting a great deal of effort in securing our borders and fighting transnational crime,” added Mr O’Connell.

Bringing together nearly 20 participants from nine ASEAN member states, the training syllabus included migrant smuggling and human trafficking investigative techniques, interviewing methods, and legal frameworks.

“The fight against transnational crime is a long and arduous one which cannot be fought by a single law enforcement agency. I urge everyone to leverage this training programme to exchange best practices, acquire new skills and forge even closer operational links in our fight against transnational crime,” said Chua Chee Wai, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Singapore Police Force and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Singapore.

The INTERPOL Integrated Border Management Operational Training course was the seventh such activity held under the auspices of the EU-ASEAN programme, and the first hosted at the IGCI.