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June 6, 2007

ASEAN, Interpol sign cooperation pact
International cooperation within the police community gets a boost with
ASEAN's police chiefs signing a declaration of cooperation with Interpol
on June 5.

One area of immediate benefit from heightened cooperation is ready access
to Interpol's database. ASEAN's police chiefs have identified terrorism,
cyber-crime and transnational organised crime as three priority areas for
attention. They believe two important factors will help in the tackling of
crime worldwide.

One is to know and trust each other in order to link up organisations when
information needs to be shared. Tan Sri Musa Hassan, Chief, Royal
Malaysian Police Force, said: "With this close cooperation, all member
countries can share intelligence and work closely together to identify
organised crime."

To work towards this, a global conference on Asian organised crime is
being jointly organised with Interpol to be held early next year in
Singapore. The second factor is to tap into the resources of international
policing organisations, like Interpol, and to share best practices among
member countries.

With the signing of the cooperation declaration with Interpol, ASEAN's
police organisations can now tap into its communication system database 24
hours a day, seven days a week.

Khoo Boon Hui, Commissioner, Singapore Police Force, said: "We cannot
match the reach and resources of Interpol, especially where their
databases are concerned. We are able, through our links with them and
through our Aseanapol joint database, to tap on this database seamlessly.

"The significant development this year is increasing the engagement of our
dialogue partners. They are the ones who have been contributing
significantly in terms of expertise as well as equipment to some of our
countries and in this way, we are bringing in new capabilities to the

The ASEAN police chiefs' conference in Singapore also addressed the issue
of cyber-crime and the prevalence of such activities in member countries.
They agreed that these criminal activities could be disruptive to member
nations and have decided to adopt a common framework which would serve as
a useful guide on some of the steps needed to battle cyber-crime speedily.

ASEAN's police will also be working closely with Interpol to work out a
system of communications and coordination during crisis management,
especially in times of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Channel
News Asia

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