Interpol, WCO to bolster fight against organised crime

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Kunio Mikuriya (right) and INTERPOL chief
Ronald K. Noble reaffirmed cooperation between the two organisations at their meeting in Brussels.
[PHOTO: Special Arrangements] 
Brussels: The Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, and the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ronald K. Noble, met at WCO Headquarters to reaffirm cooperation between the two organisations in their efforts to bolster the fight against transnational organised crime.

INTERPOL and the WCO have a long history of cooperation, especially in the fight against crime and other cross-border criminal activities, and the meeting between the Secretaries General will go a long way towards strengthening the partnership between customs and police at the international and national level.

Regarding cooperation between INTERPOL and the WCO in enforcement operations, the Secretaries General acknowledged customs’ primary responsibility for cross-border movement of goods and recognized that operations carried out by customs and police should be well coordinated to avoid duplication of efforts and to ensure synergy between the goals and objectives of each organisation.

The Secretaries General reaffirmed the roles and mandates of their respective organisations, agreed to coordinate their activities more efficiently at the international level, emphasized the need for customs and police to work together more closely at the national level, and committed to enhancing future cooperation and coordination between the WCO and INTERPOL.

“Discussions with the Secretary General of INTERPOL have further cemented long-standing relations between the WCO and the world’s international police organisation,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “Building on our common goal of combating crime, efforts to coordinate activities and strengthen cooperation will positively impact on both organisations,” he added.

Whilst at WCO Headquarters, INTERPOL’s Secretary General was given a demonstration of IPM (Interface Public Members), the WCO’s anti-counterfeiting and piracy tool, which facilitates exchange of information between Customs officials on the ground and right holders, in addition to providing information distinguishing fakes from genuine products covering 400 brands to date.

Following the IPM demonstration, INTERPOL’s Secretary General said that ‘it is an excellent tool for Customs to combat IPR infringements’, with both Secretaries General agreeing that as IPM could have a broader impact on the fight against criminal activities, customs should be encouraged to make the tool available to police and other law enforcement agencies.

Acknowledging Customs’ primary responsibility for cross-border movement of goods, the Secretaries General recognized that enforcement operations carried out by Customs and Police should be well coordinated to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure synergy between each organisation’s goals and objectives.
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