Kabul, August 2016. Afghanistan is cementing its ties with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol). This is thanks to a EUPOL project supporting the synchronisation of the database of the Afghan Border Police with that of the global crime fighting organisation.
Interpol brings the world’s police forces together to fight international crime through the gathering, analysis and sharing of information. Afghanistan joined the law enforcement agency in October 2002. Interpol Afghanistan is one of 190 Interpol national offices (National Central Bureaus) across the world.
Currently, Interpol databases are not fully utilised in Afghanistan. This results in undetected entry into and exit out of the country by many criminals. “There is no efficient deterrent for serious criminals to use international flights in and out of Afghanistan. Integrating the Afghan Border Police’s database with Interpol will automise checks, thereby increasing the number of hits at the borders and enabling the Afghan Border Police to deal with requests from abroad efficiently,” said EUPOL’s Senior Interpol Expert, Robert Zablotny.
Compliance with global standards
EUPOL specialists have mentored the Interpol Office in Afghanistan – the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Kabul – on how to create an environment that fulfills all the requirements for compliance with global Interpol NCB service standards. This has been carried out with the help of experts from Interpol’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France.
EUPOL conducted a three-day training session on the integration of PISCES (Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System) – the border management database system used by the Afghan Border Police – with the global Interpol database. The training, which was conducted by experts from Interpol’s General Secretariat, was held at EUPOL HQ. Participants included representatives from NCB Kabul, the Afghan Supreme Court, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Directorate for Security as well as officers from Kabul International Airport. The training combined practical exercises and knowledge on the use of Interpol databases.
The integration of the databases will additionally increase connectivity between NCB Kabul, the Afghan Border Police and the Attorney General’s Office. The capacity of NCB Kabul to liaise with other National Central Bureaus as well as authorised national agencies responsible for public security will also be improved.
“The use of an integrated biometrics-based identification system will go a long way in helping NCB Kabul combat organised crime such as human and drug smuggling, kidnapping, illegal migration and terrorism and help in finding fugitives,” said visiting expert Alnur Tulembayev, the Regional Specialised Officer for Asia and the South Pacific at Interpol’s General Secretariat.
Speaking during the training session, the Head of EUPOL Ms. Pia Stjernvall said: “It can be difficult to quantify success but this is proof that positive change takes place.”
The Head of NCB Kabul, Brigadier General Sayed Afendi thanked EUPOL for their support which has borne fruit: “Gaining access to databases which provide real-time criminal information over a secure network will help us have our eyes and ears all over Afghanistan and better understand how our enemy operates.”