Belarus officially recognizes INTERPOL passport

January 19, 2012

INTERPOL on January 18, 2012 released the following:

“Decision reinforces already close cooperation with INTERPOL

LYON, France – Belarus today became the latest INTERPOL member country to officially recognize the world police organization’s passport, providing visa waiver status for individuals travelling on official business.

Minister of Internal Affairs for Belarus, Anatoly Kuleshov signed the agreement during a visit to the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters where he met with Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior officials.

The agreement means that INTERPOL officials from any of the Organization’s 190 member countries can enter Belarus without a visa in order to carry out official duties on INTERPOL-related matters when invited by Belarusian authorities.

“Belarus is proud to officially recognize the INTERPOL passport as additional evidence of our steadfast commitment to enhance international police cooperation with all INTERPOL member countries,” said Minister Kuleshov who was accompanied on the visit by Head of International Cooperation, Mikhail Starikovich and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Minsk, Alexander Petran.

Following the deadly terrorist attack on a Minsk subway in April 2011 in which 14 people died and more than 100 were badly injured, Belarus ensured that INTERPOL and all its member countries had access to the fingerprints retrieved from the crime scene. Checks through INTERPOL’s databases confirmed that fingerprints from the suspect in the April attack, matched those of the suspect charged in connection with another bombing in Minsk in July 2008.

“By sharing important crime related information with INTERPOL and by recognizing the INTERPOL passport, Belarus enhances the security not only of its country and citizens, but of all INTERPOL’s 190 member countries,” said Mr Noble.

“If Belarus had not shared terrorist related information with INTERPOL, then the Minsk bombing suspect would have been able to move freely throughout Europe and the world to cause harm and even kill many others.

“Similarly, police worldwide in possession of the INTERPOL passport will be able to assist Belarus as requested at the scenes of terrorist attacks, major crimes or natural disasters, where time can be of the essence,” added the head of the world police body.

“As more and more countries officially recognize the INTERPOL passport, we will ensure an even faster response time by police worldwide working under the umbrella of INTERPOL and invited by member countries to assist,” concluded Mr Noble.

The INTERPOL General Assembly in Qatar in 2010 saw the official adoption of the INTERPOL Travel Document initiative to enable the Organization to provide faster on-site support to member countries requesting assistance.

Countries which have already recognized the INTERPOL Travel Document are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, France, Guinea, Jordan, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Rwanda, Seychelles, Singapore, Sudan, Swaziland and Tanzania.”

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


INTERPOL Chief says Commonwealth of Independent States collaboration is a model for other regions

October 14, 2011

INTERPOL on October 14, 2011 released the following:

Armenia becomes first CIS country to recognize INTERPOL passport

YEREVAN, Armenia – Addressing the Council of Ministers of Internal Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Yerevan today, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that the region’s impressive cooperation with the world police body played an important role in the global fight against crime and terrorism.

Mr Noble’s remarks follow his meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who agreed to grant INTERPOL passport holders special visa waiver status, saying that ‘in today’s world, law enforcement officers holding INTERPOL passports should not be delayed in travelling to countries which have asked for assistance.’

President Sargsyan’s support and recognition that no additional burdens should be placed on INTERPOL officials responding to requests from member countries were praised by Secretary General Noble as ‘a significant step forward in enhancing national, regional and global security.’

The INTERPOL passport, now officially recognized by 24 countries, is aimed at facilitating the worldwide deployment of INTERPOL officials, chiefs of law enforcement agencies, heads of National Central Bureaus and staff by allowing them to travel internationally on official INTERPOL business without requiring a visa prior to boarding a plane to assist in transnational investigations or in urgent deployments.

Since taking the helm of the world police body in 2000, Mr Noble said that the CIS region had repeatedly shown innovation and unwavering support in its commitment to INTERPOL and the global law enforcement community, pointing to the creation of the INTERPOL Anti-Heroin Smuggling Training Centre in Russia in 2007 and the expansion of access to INTERPOL’s tools to frontline police in more than 50 remote sites across Central Asia through an EU-funded project.

Secretary General Noble’s presence at the CIS Ministers meeting in Yerevan follows his participation at the ‘Donbass Anti-Terror 2011’ exercise organized by the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre and the Security Service of Ukraine in Donetsk last month. That event and the willingness of both Russia and Belarus to share evidence and intelligence obtained after the January 2011 attack on Domodedovo International airport and the Oktyabrskaya subway station bombing in Minsk just months later were hailed by Mr Noble as a demonstration of the region’s collaborative approach to security.

“The close cooperation between the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States serves as a model for other regions of the world in ensuring that they present a united and effective front against transnational criminals and terrorists,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“This collective approach is vital in maximizing the ability of each individual country to better combat these shared threats, and is a strategy clearly employed by all countries in the region to protect citizens and visitors,” added the INTERPOL chief.

“International police cooperation via INTERPOL is essential in creating opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of national police services and therefore of regional and international security,” said Minister of the Republic of Armenia and Head of the Police, Lieutenant-General Alik Sargsyan.

“We are committed to using an international approach in the fight against crime, working with INTERPOL to protect our borders and citizens from terrorists and other criminals and also to send a strong message to the global criminal community that it cannot evade justice in Armenia,” added the police chief.

During his mission, Mr Noble also visited the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Yerevan where he was briefed on a range of policing activities including drug enforcement and human trafficking.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.