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24 November 2017

INTERPOL helps safeguard ASEAN summit attended by world leaders

MANILA, Philippines – Some 24 million searches conducted against INTERPOL’s global criminal databases resulted in multiple hits after it deployed a team to support Philippine authorities during the 31st ASEAN Summit.

Once the INTERPOL Major Events Support Team (IMEST) helped connect  immigration officers at Manila International Airport to its global network via dedicated technology, travellers were systematically screened against INTERPOL’s databases to determine potential threats. 

Hits against INTERPOL’s databases notably led to the arrest and return to the Netherlands of an individual wanted internationally under an INTERPOL Red Notice on charges which include rape, theft and growing cannabis.

An individual travelling with two stolen blank Iraqi passports was also detected amongst the 124 hits generated against INTERPOL’s database for stolen and lost travel documents.

Under the umbrella of the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II, the IMEST was deployed to train and assist Philippine law enforcement agencies prepare, coordinate and implement security arrangements during the ASEAN Summit (12 – 14 November) attended by world leaders.

“Close cooperation between our law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL helped make the ASEAN Summit safe, especially in the area of border security and advance passenger checking. INTERPOL’s global network helped provide access to vital information on individuals coming in and out of the country,” saidCamilo Pancratius Cascolan, Director for Operations, Philippine National Police.

Conducted under the framework of the INTERPOL Integrated Border Management Task Force, the IMEST operation was coordinated and carried out by INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre and Capacity Building and Training Directorate, in liaison with its National Central Bureau in Manila.

INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “Major events such as the ASEAN Summit mobilize all security resources. It is essential that authorities at the frontline have access to INTERPOL’s global police networks and databases which act as a line of defense against transnational threats, especially at border points.” 

Funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by INTERPOL, the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II aims to improve border security across Southeast Asia by strengthening law enforcement networks and cooperation at main regional transit hubs.

EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan said: “The EU-ASEAN programme is a strong example of turning knowledge into practice.The EU supports law enforcement cooperation and information sharing among ASEAN member states, underpinned by INTERPOL’s global network, which is crucial for effectively addressing security challenges.”

The ten ASEAN member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, Director for Operations, Philippine National Police

Jaime Hermo Morente, Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, Philippines

Pelagio U. Samson Jr, Deputy Executive Director, INTERPOL NCB Manila

German Robin, Deputy Head of Operations, Bureau of Immigration, Philippines

Ahmed Ibrahim, INTERPOL Senior Operations Assistant