A European Union-funded project to detect false passports being used to cross Cambodia’s borders will be established by the end of next year, a senior Interpol official said yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the 30th annual Aseanapol conference in Phnom Penh yesterday, Interpol Executive Director Jean-Michel Louboutin said that Vietnam and Cambodia had been selected for the project, which will allow local border police to link up with Interpol’s extensive computer database system.
“Within Cambodia, our main project is a project with the EU…to extend our network to give access to border police to the stolen- and lost-document database,” Mr Louboutin said, adding that the database project would be finalized next year.
“Because criminals are traveling with false documents and stolen documents very often, and the Interpol database contains records of more than 21 million stolen and lost documents, it is very important that border police officers are able to check the database to find misused passports,” he said.
Mr Louboutin confirmed that Interpol’s other major project involving Cambodia was Project International Fugitive Roundup and Arrest Southeast Asia (Infrasea), which will focus on tracking the whereabouts of known child-sex offenders in five Asean member nations at the end of this year.
After three days of discussions and several rounds of golf, police delegates from Asean member states wrapped up the Aseanapol conference yesterday with the signing of an agreed joint communique on ways to enhance cooperation on transnational crime issues.
The joint communique covers 81 broad resolutions recommending increased cooperation on 12 regional topics of interest—including drug trafficking, terrorism, arms smuggling, human trafficking, maritime fraud, cyber crime, document fraud, and the use of electronic databases.
While delegates held lengthy deliberations on the makeup of the joint communique during the three-day conference, heads and deputy heads of the delegations also spent the equivalent of one full day playing two 18-hole rounds of golf.
Kirth Chantharith, spokesman for the Cambodian national police commissioner, said the substantial golfing program was a way to relax after the exacting timetable of the conference.
“The three days of working is very tough, and that is why we thought the leaders should play golf,” he said, adding that the Cambodian National Police Commissioner, Neth Savoeun, won the VIP tournament held between attending senior police officials on Wednesday.
“It also gave the chiefs of Aseanapol the opportunity to get to know each other better and make friendships,” he said.