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Friday, 28 March 2014

S’pore passport checks tap Interpol database

SINGAPORE is one of about 70 member states of Interpol that conduct border checks by cross-checking against the global police agency’s database of stolen and lost travel documents.

Most of Interpol’s 190 member countries do not do so, however, and this has to be improved, an Interpol official said here.

If more countries got onboard with integrated cross-checking of border information, it would be easier to avoid cases such as that of the two Iranians who illegally boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, said Julia Viedma, Interpol director of international partnerships and development unit.

“These kinds of events show the importance of enhancing border security… and the importance of having the technology accessible to all law-enforcement and all immigration officers to be able to cross-check all bio-data,” she said at a press conference yesterday.

The database has information on more than 40 million passports in its logs – 167 countries have reported information on stolen or lost travel documents to it.

More than 800 million searches were run on the database last year, resulting in 67,000 positive hits.

“So 67,000 times in 2013, a passport that was not accredited as good, that maybe had been used in a fraudulent way, was detected in the world, thanks to this cross-checking of information,” said Viedma, who joined Interpol in 1998 after a decade in the Spanish National Police. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: Regional , ST


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