Interpol not playing any role in curbing state-sponsored terrorism, says Secretary-General

The international criminal police organisation is focussed primarily on ordinary law crimes, says Stock

October 17, 2022 09:04 pm | Updated 09:04 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Jürgen Stock, Secretary General, Interpol addresses a press conference ahead of  90th General Assembly of INTERPOL, at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi, on October 17, 2022

Jürgen Stock, Secretary General, Interpol addresses a press conference ahead of 90th General Assembly of INTERPOL, at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi, on October 17, 2022 | Photo Credit: PTI

Interpol Secretary-General Jürgen Stock on October 17 said the international criminal police organisation was not playing any role in curbing state-sponsored terrorism and that it focussed primarily on ordinary law crimes.

“We are playing no role to be very specific and concrete. If there is any state activity, Interpol is not conducting any activity. We are focussing primarily on...,according to our Constitution, ordinary law crime. We are going against child abusers, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, cyber criminals who want to make billions of money...that is the majority of crime that occurs around the world. That is why Interpol exists,” said Mr. Stock at a press conference ahead of the four-day Interpol general assembly to start on October 18.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 90th general assembly on Tuesday, while Union Home Minister Amit Shah will give the valedictory address.

Early warning system

On the issue of terrorism, Mr. Stock said the Interpol had been developing — in close cooperation with member-countries, the United Nations, European Union and many others — a global early warning system for collection and sharing of terrorism-related inputs. The organisation had done so successfully as part of the global coalition to defeat Daesh.

He said the Interpol had one of the biggest repositories on information related to the foreign terrorist hideouts and tools for helping the member-countries identify, target and arrest terrorists.

On the illicit financial flows, the Secretary-General said less than 1% of the funds could be intercepted and recovered by enforcement agencies, terming it a major cause for concern. Criminal gangs also used cryptocurrencies to move proceeds of crime and evade detection. “Combined with estimates of the global cost of cybercrime, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, brings us to the basics of policing — follow the money,” he said.

He said the Interpol’s global stop-payment mechanism, an anti-money laundering rapid response protocol, had helped the member-countries recover more than $60 million in the past 10 months.

“Our Global Crime Trend Report also highlighted the massive increase in online child sexual exploitation and abuse, figures which are only set to increase,” he said.

The Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database helped investigators around the world identify an average of seven child abuse victims every day. So far, 30,000 victims had been identified worldwide.

Red Notice

With respect to Red Notice, Mr. Stock said it was not an international arrest warrant and that the Interpol could not force any member-country to arrest a subject of the notice. “...we cannot accept a request (for issuance of Red Notice) if, for example, it is political, military, religious or racial in character, or is not in accordance with our rules on the processing of data,” he said.

Replying to a query, Mr. Stock said the Interpol’s Singapore unit had been providing support to the member-countries to develop a legal framework and come up with the tools for tracking and seizing cryptocurrencies. It was also collaborating with the Financial Action Task Force in the matter.

Representatives of 195 member-countries will be attending the General Assembly sessions. Among them are officials from Pakistan. Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, delegates from both the countries in Delhi will participate. On a question whether the Russia-Ukraine conflict was on the agenda, Mr. Stock said the Interpol earlier passed a series of war crime resolutions and it had a fixed framework for supporting member-countries. Any discussion could take place within the set guidelines.

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