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13 septiembre 2017

Southeast Asia important actor in global fight against terrorism

SINGAPORE – Southeast Asia plays a pivotal role in the global fight against transnational crime and terrorism, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ policing body, ASEANAPOL.

With authorities across the region reporting an increase in arrests linked to terrorist plots and recruitment activities, Secretary General Stock said further developing the relationship between INTERPOL and ASEANAPOL is crucial to enhancing global security.

“This strong relationship benefits the security interests of our common membership. The ASEAN region, and indeed all 10 ASEAN INTERPOL member countries, play an increasingly vital role in global police cooperation,” said the INTERPOL Chief.

As part of its five-year global counter-terrorism strategy, INTERPOL is developing Regional Counter-terrorism Nodes in several parts of the world, including Southeast Asia.

Through the regional nodes, INTERPOL aims to build direct ties with national counter-terrorism units and regional actors such as ASEANAPOL to exchange information and expertise and more effectively coordinate regional activities.

“For our efforts to be successful in combating the growing terrorist threat, I urge all countries in the Asia-Pacific region to increase their sharing of criminal information, and to conduct regular and systematic checks against existing data in INTERPOL’s systems.

“This is increasingly important given the complexities of the global threat landscape,” said Secretary General Stock, addressing the two-day (13 – 14 September) ASEANAPOL Conference.

He highlighted the strong participation of ASEAN countries in INTERPOL’s crime-fighting projects, including the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme, Project Sunbird to enhance counter-terrorism and forensic investigation skills, and the ASEAN Cyber Capacity Development project.

In May, Operation Red Lotus II took place at international airports in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, where immigration and police authorities conducted some 18.4 million searches against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) and criminal databases resulting in the arrest of three individuals subject to INTERPOL Red Notices for crimes including fraud and abduction.  

Operation Sunbird III saw eight million searches were conducted across all ASEAN countries, leading to 17 arrests – including a suspected foreign terrorist fighter – and 110 ‘hits’ on passports recorded in the SLTD database.

“INTERPOL and ASEAN member countries have achieved many successes through our long-standing collaboration, and we must continue building upon this solid foundation in the face of emerging security threats,” said Mr Stock.

Terrorism and transnational crime are high on the agenda of the upcoming 86th INTERPOL General Assembly in Beijing, China from 26 -29 September.