The International Criminal Police Organisation, known as INTERPOL, has collaborated with law enforcement in the Caribbean and Middle East to improve techniques and cooperation in tackling illegal border crossing, with the focus on trafficking and criminal fugitives
The International Criminal Police Organisation, known as INTERPOL, has collaborated with law enforcement in the Caribbean and Middle East to improve techniques and cooperation in tackling illegal border crossing, with the focus on trafficking and criminal fugitives.
Commonwealth country Jamaica has hosted specialised officers from INTERPOL member countries at a meeting to revise best practices in international fugitive investigations.
Held on December 5-8, 2017 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the 7th Global Operational Symposium on Fugitives brought together 100 officials from 70 countries to strengthen cooperation on international search requests and review INTERPOL’s global capabilities, including the publication of Notices.
The focus was on using the latest technologies and techniques to share information on, locate and arrest international fugitives.
Participants looked in particular at `cold’ crime cases and high priority fugitives, as well as the development of a fugitive investigators global network.
Information and updates on electric surveillance, extraditions and initiatives such as INTERPOL’s International Fugitive Round up and Arrest (Infra) operations were also discussed.
Infra enables regional and international law enforcement to work together to locate and arrest criminals outside their national jurisdiction.
Since 2009, the operations have led to 540 arrests, with another 300 individuals located, for crimes such as people smuggling, drugs and firearms trafficking, sexual offences and environmental crimes.
One of INTERPOL’s most effective tracking tools is the Red Notice, which seeks the provisional arrest of a wanted person.
Circulated to all INTERPOL member countries’ constabulary forces, it contains identification details and judicial information with a view to extradition.
Furthermore, INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre offers a point of contact for any member police force seeking urgent information on crimes and investigations, with its global databases queried almost 200 times a second.
The organisation is also working to expand its I-24/7 secure police communications system to ensure readily-available information across police networks around the world.
Alongside the fugitive symposium, INTERPOL also coordinated the Global Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants Conference, in order to protect vulnerable citizens from being exploited by organised crime groups.
More than 300 international experts from law enforcement, private and public sectors and non-governmental organisations from 90 countries gathered in Doha, Qatar on December 6-7, 2017 to explore emerging trends, such as trafficking for forced criminality including pickpocketing or drug cultivation.
They also examined tools created by the private sector to assist law enforcement in disrupting trafficking and smuggling.
Such activities, in pursuit of low-risk, high profit margins, are constantly evolving and require innovation in the detection, reporting and prosecution of such crimes without limits or borders.
INTERPOL’s Director for Organised and Emerging Crime, Paul Stanfield, used the recent success of Operation Epervier as an example of efficient cross-border and sector collaboration.
The organisation helped prosecutors, social services, NGOs and international organisations across five African countries rescue 500 victims from forced labour and sexual exploitation and arrest 40 suspected traffickers.
The Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s fugitives unit, Ioannis Kokkinis, said: “Fugitives are mobile and opportunistic, for them there are no borders.
“This operational meeting is an important opportunity for member countries to work together to locate and arrest international fugitives, using the latest techniques and the power of international cooperation via INTERPOL.”
Commissioner George Quallo from the Jamaica Constabulary Force said: “The Jamaica Constabulary Force pledges its continued support and collaboration with INTERPOL.
“This fugitive symposium is very timely and comes at a time when technological advances make it easy for transnational crimes to flourish and criminals fleeing law enforcement to move across borders and territories.
“Jamaica will continue to exercise vigilance and implement appropriate operational responses to help curtail this activity.”
Read More: Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General, gives a clear exposition of the current challenges posed by transnational crime and terrorism, and highlights the need to re-design – and build – the next ‘global architecture of policing’ with secure bridges of cross-border cooperation