First Look

Tackling organized crime tops agenda at INTERPOL Americas meeting

| 2016-07-06 00:00:00

INTERPOL is deploying a Major Event Support Team to support Brazil’s security framework ahead of and during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

This is one of many ways in which INTERPOL assists its member countries address the security challenges posed by organized crime in the Americas, a key issue for discussion by senior law enforcement officials at the INTERPOL Americas Regional Conference this week.

With the Americas including source, transit and destination countries for illegal activities including drug, human and weapons trafficking, member countries will share first-hand experiences and best practices in tackling these crimes.

Underscoring the need for strong border controls, in April INTERPOL coordinated the first joint operation between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay targeting criminal groups operating in the tri-border area which resulted in 25 arrests, the seizure of 750 kg of drugs and the recovery of 14 stolen vehicles.

Similarly, an operation targeting drug trafficking from Latin America to Europe via Africa resulted in the seizure of nearly 170 kg of drugs worth an estimated EUR 10 million, as well as gold coins and stolen credit cards.

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games presenting a range of opportunities for organized crime networks, INTERPOL is working closely with national and sporting authorities to ensure all stakeholders have the capabilities to prevent match-fixing, illegal betting, doping and related crimes.

“Organized criminal groups will engage in any sort of illicit behaviour, whether smuggling illegal drugs from one region to another or trafficking desperate people across borders, if they believe there is a profit to be made,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“No single country or region can address these global security threats alone, which is why INTERPOL continues to advocate a unified global response centred around timely information sharing on criminal networks to disrupt their activities and create a safer world for all,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

The 68 delegates from 32 countries and four international organizations participating in the INTERPOL Americas Regional Conference are expected to adopt a series of measures in support of the Organization’s operational strategies against organized crime and cybercrime, as well as the INTERPOL 2020 reform initiative.

“I am convinced that we will take full advantage of the fact that representatives of INTERPOL are present with us at this 23rd Americas Regional Conference. Together, we can continue consolidating strategies to combat organized crime and the associated criminal acts that are detrimental to the development of our countries,” said Omar Ariel Pinzón Marín, Director General of the Panama National Police.

To address the growing prevalence of cybercrime, INTERPOL is supporting police in the region by providing a series of training courses and assisting national law enforcement agencies in creating dedicated cybercrime units.

Participants at the conference will also be briefed on INTERPOL’s activities to expand access to its I-24/7 secure police communications system and other policing capabilities within member countries, and ongoing partnerships with regional organizations such as the Commission of Chiefs of Police of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Colombia (CJPCMCC).

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