PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian suspected of foreign terror activity was among 17 arrested during an Interpol operation in South-East Asia. He has since been deported from Turkey to Kuala Lumpur.
Dubbed Operation Sunbird III, police, immigration and maritime authorities from all 10 Asean countries screened passports at 35 land, air and sea border points against Interpol's global databases.
Carried out from Mar 28 to Apr 5, the operation resulted in 17 arrests and 110 'hits' on passports recorded in Interpol's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
In another possible Malaysian connection, a Sri Lankan national was intercepted by Indonesian immigration in Bali while travelling on a stolen blank Italian passport registered in the SLTD database.
He is suspected of purchasing the passport in Kuala Lumpur from a criminal organisation.
On its website, Interpol said the cross-border operation focused on enhancing cooperation between law enforcement agencies against terror suspects and criminals travelling across South-East Asia.
The operation was the first major activity of Project Sunbird, the second phase of a multi-year programme to develop the counter-terrorism skills of law enforcement in the region.
Interpol's capacity building and training director Harold O' Connell said Operation Sunbird III aimed to improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies to combat ever-evolving terror threats.
"The expansion of training initiatives into operational exercises is at the heart of Interpol's capacity building ethos," he said.
Funded by the Canadian government, Operation Sunbird III was conducted under the umbrella of Interpol in cooperation with Asean countries, Asean Association of Chiefs of Police (Aseanapol) and the United Nations.