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15 junio 2017

Tackling regional crime through global cooperation focus of INTERPOL meeting

SANTIAGO, Chile – Intelligence sharing and international collaboration against regional organized crime was the emphasis of a Fortaleza-CRIMJUST meeting hosted by Chile’s National Police – PDI and INTERPOL.

Participants discussed ways to tackle transnational crime via INTERPOL’s Project Fortaleza and Project CRIMJUST, a European Union-funded initiative implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with INTERPOL and Transparency International to strengthen criminal investigation along the cocaine route.

With INTERPOL’s Project Fortaleza giving Latin American and Caribbean law enforcement the skills, intelligence and services they need to tackle regional crime, forming a solid regional network of contact officers to stimulate cooperation and improve information sharing was high on the agenda.

Bringing together 100 participants from 30 countries, the three-day (16 – 18 May) meeting called for stronger police cooperation in the areas of drug trafficking from the Americas to West Africa and Europe, and money laundering linked to criminal networks.

Participants included specialized officers from a range of law enforcement agencies throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe and Middle East, as well as INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in the region.

 “Hosting the 4th Fortaleza Working group meeting in the Chilean capital has served to boost regional police cooperation and our collective ability to face an enemy common to police forces across the globe: organized crime,” said the Chilean Police Chief Héctor Espinosa Valenzuela.

“INTERPOL member countries need an international response to regional and international crime threats, and this meeting has given them exactly that,” he added.

Investigators shared intelligence on emerging land, sea and air trafficking routes, production zones, transportation and concealment methods, particularly in the field of container transport.

Participants concluded the meeting by unanimously approving a summary of recommendations identifying new approaches for tackling organized crime, including the creation of a dedicated drugs database called ‘RELIEF’.

“Project Fortaleza boosts communication between INTERPOL’s General Secretariat, member countries and police officers in the field, which in turn improves the exchange, storage and cross-referencing of actionable intelligence, not just in this region but throughout the world,” commented Jose de Gracia, INTERPOL Assistant Director for Criminal Networks.

“Many of INTERPOL’s Latin American and Caribbean operational successes only proved possible because of first-rate police work and strong international cooperation, which in the long run is what will help us win the war against criminal networks in this region,” concluded INTERPOL’s Criminal Networks Chief.

Hosted by the Chilean National Police (called Policia de Investigaciones – PDI, in Spanish), and its INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Santiago, the meeting was coordinated with INTERPOL’s Criminal Networks Sub-Directorate.

INTERPOL member countries which took part in the meeting included: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.