“OPERATION INFRA ASP” (ASIA AND SOUTH PACIFIC UNDERWORLD ROUND-UP AND ARREST)

The INTERPOL Fugitive Investigative Support Sub-Directorate (OSA-FIS) announced the launch of “OPERATION INFRA ASP” (Asia and South Pacific Underworld Round-up and Arrest)-1st Operational Meeting on fugitives wanted for serious organized crime and financial crime in Asia and South Pacific (ASP) region which was held in Hangzhou, China on 13-15 December 2016.

The operation aimed to disrupt criminal networks responsible for serious crimes such as organized crime and financial crimes and more particularly to support countries to locate and arrest fugitives at international level as well as from other countries who have left their national jurisdiction and believed to be residing in one or more ASP Countries, through the global exchange of information.

INTERPOL’S TRAININGS TO ENHANCE FORENSIC CAPABILITIES IN ASEAN: SIMULTANEOUS SESSIONS ON DNA, FACIAL RECOGNITION, FINGERPRINT AND FIREARMS

On November 28-December 02, 2016, PCTC attended the trainings that was held at INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), Singapore. The purpose of this activity is to provide an opportunity for law enforcement officers to be trained extensively on the use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilitites in forensics. The Philippines was represented by SPO1 Pablo L. Dawagan III (NCB Manila) and four personnel from Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory Group: PSUPT ARIEL L AYUSIP, fingerprint expert, PCINSP JASPER P MAGANA, DNA expert, PSINSP HOMEL F SORRA, Forensic Photography expert and SPO1 Julian C Fernandez, firearms examiner expert. Selected participants upon completion of this training should be able to use INTERPOL’s forensic databases and be in a position to train other officers in their units on INTERPOL’s standards and rules of the processing of forensic data.

DESIGN AND SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT FOR TABLETOP EXERCISE “MAHARLIKA”

On November 28-December 02, 2016, PCTC attended the event at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation. The activity aimed to develop an exercise plan and identify terrorism scenarios within the maritime domain, which will be used during the actual tabletop exercise in Brunei on February 2017. The role of NCB is to assist in the facilitation of the tabletop exercise and to introduce INTERPOL’s various tools and services.

PROJECT PACIFIC WORKING GROUP MEETING ON THE INTERPOL SOUTHEAST ASIA FOREIGN FIGHTERS PROJECT

On November 15-17, 2016 –PCTC, along with the representative from BI and other law enforcement agencies from Philippines, attended the workshop at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Regional Communities Outreach Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Project PACIFIC Working Group Meeting in Malaysia focused on: People smuggling facilitators and their Modus Operandi in the ASEAN Region used by FTFs; Financial support to Asian FTFs and to the Syrian/Iraqi Conflict zone; and High-Value Terrorist (HVT) operating in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Working Group meeting aimed to collect additional information on the following: Details on how terrorist groups work with people smuggling syndicates to facilitate travel within and outside the region; How terrorist and other radical groups in Southeast Asia raise funds to support the travel of FTFs to Syria and other conflict zones; and Information about transnational terrorist entering Southeast Asia: their travel facilitators and logistics support groups to enter and remain inside the region.

COUNTER-SMUGGLING INVESTIGATION COURSE

On November 7-10, 2016, PCTC along with BFP, NCWC, NWCS, BOQ, BI, PNP, and BOC attended the course that was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. INTERPOL’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Sub-Directorate (CBRNE), in cooperation with the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus from Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines participated in this Course. The background of this course focuses on the illegal movement of chemical and explosives materials by criminals and terrorist groups, in combination with the transit of redicalized individuals between conflict zones within and outside of the Southeast Asian Region poses and ongoing threat to INTERPOL’s member countries. By targeting the trafficking of dual use chemicals and explosive materials as well as enhancing the investigation skills and intelligence piture of foreign fighters in Southeast Asia, the law enforcement community can play a pivotal role in the prevention and early detection of terrorist attacks.

85TH SESSION OF INTERPOL GENERAL ASSSEMBLY

On November 07-10, 2016, PCTC along with the representatives from PPC, PNP-DPL, OMB, PPA and OSETC attended the General Assembly at Bali NUSA DUA National Convention Center (BNDCC), Indonesia. The Assembly aimed to bring out future initiatives as well as to solicit ideas among member law enforcement agency to create a sustainable framework in ensuring security for generations to come.

Highlights of the event were the following:
  • Key resolutions approved by delegates include a call for the systematic collection and recording biometric information as part of terrorist profiles shared via INTERPOL and further the strengthening of INTERPOL’s information processing mechanisms, including for Red Notices and Diffusions;
  • Member countries also endorse the expansion of the I-Checkit programme to Maritime Industry as part of efforts to enhance border security and passenger screening;
  • With Beijing, China hosting the INTERPOL’s 86th General Assembly in 2017, it was decided that Kampala, Uganda will serve as the venue for the 2018 global police gathering;
  • Mr Meng Hongwei, China’s Vice Minister of Public Security was elected as the new President of INTERPOL for a period of four years (2016-2020) replacing Ms. Mireille Ballestrazzi of France; and
  • Three new members of the Executive Committee were also elected this year: Police Major General Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, Head of INTERPOL NCB Moscow, as Vice President for Europe; Chief of Argentine Federal Police, General Commissioner Nestor Ramon Roncaglia, as Delegate for the Americas; and Matyas Hegyaljai, Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary for International and European Union Matters as Delegate for Europe.
    TRAIN-THE- TRAINER SESSIONS OF EU-ASEAN MIGRATION AND BORDER MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME II

    On October 25- November 02, 2016, PCTC participated in the activity that was held at Bangkok, Thailand. The activity was attended by ASEAN Member States and aimed to build the participants competencies to perform some functions such as to implement border operations in his/her country based on INTERPOL Integrated Border Management Task force (IBTMF) methodology; and facilitate a training on INTERPOL Policing Capabilities.

    DEBRIEFING MEETING OPSON V – LAUNCH OPSON VI

    The Debriefing Meeting OPSON V – Launch OPSON VI took place in Madrid, Spain on 20 – 21 October 2016 which was attended by SPO1 ERWIN D NAVARRO, Case Liaison Officer, Directorate for Operations, PCTC. Since 2011, INTERPOL and Europol have coordinated a joint operation targeting counterfeit and/ or substandard food and beverages, namely Operation OPSON. Food fraud represents a lucrative business for criminals while placing the safety of the consumers at risk. First launched in 2011 with the participation of 10 countries, Operation OPSON achieved remarkable results with the seizure of products ranging from everyday items like coffee and olive oil, to luxury goods such as caviar and champagne.

    PEach year, an increasing number of countries participated in Operation OPSON. The fifth edition of Operation OPSON carried out between November 2015 to February 2016 led to the seizure of more than 10,000 tons of illicit food and beverage products which was participated by 57 countries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Middle-East. Food fraud is a global phenomenon which needs to be addressed globally.

    DATA PROTECTION OFFICER COURSE AND ROUNDTABLE SESSION IN WOMEN POLICING

    On October 3-13, 2016, PCTC attended the training course which was held at INTERPOL Global Complex in Singapore. The two-week training session includes one-day Roundtable Session in Women in Policing. The course is to ensure the users of the INTERPOL Information System observe the INTERPOL Rules on the Processing of Data particularly to the quality and compliance of the data they enter in the system and the use of data consulted. It is being developed within the framework of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme on improving Counter-Terrorism and International Collaboration in ASEAN Member States, which is jointly funded by INTERPOL and the Government of Canada. The course was attended by representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    The following training objectives were achieved upon completion:
    • Enhance the awareness and usage of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities;
    • Understand INTERPOL’s procedures to ensure compliant data processing operations;
    • Establish adequate practices and control mechanism;
    • Develop instructional skills to enable participants to share their knowledge upon returning to their respective administration; and
    • Build connections with other ASEAN Police Force and to establish networks in order to increase international police cooperation.
      SOUTHEAST ASIA REGIONAL CYBER AND TERRORISM WORKSHOP

      The Southeast Asia Regional Terrorism Workshop was conducted at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 23-26, 2016, was participated for the Philippines by PSSUPT JOSELITO NICODEMUS, PSUPT. ROY PARENA and PSI BENJAMIN MAURICIO JR. all from PCTC; Atty. Darius Canullas and Atty. Romel Trijo from Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC); and Senior State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong from Department of Justice. The activity aimed to establish a good communication and rapport between and among the FIUs and law enforcers and prosecutors who are dealing with terrorism and terrorism related cases of the four SEA nations where threat on terrorism is high.

      The four-day workshop was the fourth part of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Training which thematically focus on Defeating Terrorism in Cyber Space; The lectures emphasized in the Comprehensive approach in investigating cyber-related terrorism cases, Cyber-criminal underground, Understanding cryptocurrency, Financing of terrorism through internet fraud and Intellectual Property crime. Moreover, SME’s from the U.S. presented case studies of the ISIL Brides, Cyber Jihadi and the ISIL recruitment through Internet.

      While, the Assistant U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and New Jersey presented some cyber-related terrorism cases which they were handling and explained how they successfully prosecuted the cases. The workshop also highlighted the presentation of Judge David O. Carter of U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California who has a vast experience in trying terrorism related cases in the United States, Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

       
      SPECIAL MEETING WITH SOS/MANAGERS OF MALLS AND COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS, AND FINANCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS IN LAPU-LAPU CITY RE BOMBING INCIDENT IN DAVAO CITY
      PCTC-VFO presided the above meeting in LCPO Conference Room which was attended by eleven (11) participants on September 6, 2016. The said groups (Financial & Commercial) are among the stakeholders of LCPO, whose members are actively joining the monthly meeting initiated by LCPO.
      Topics discussed were the following:
      1.) Reiteration of vigilant monitoring of individual/groups with nefarious plan/s;
      2.) Cooperation between the police and the different establishments in crime prevention and target hardening;
      3.) Immediate relay of information on terroristic plan/s gathered/received to the concerned agencies;
      4.) Cascading/dissemination of the topics discussed to the personnel of the different establishments; and
      5.) Sustaining and strengthening the above groups in Lapu-lapu City.
       
      NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS WEEK AGAINST COUNTERFEIT MEDICINE
       
      PCTC participated in the activity which was held on September 6, 2016 at Food and Drug Administration, Alabang, Muntinlupa. The Food and Drug Administration, the national regulatory authority mandated to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of health products including drug products, is the convener of the Coalition for Safe Medicines (CSM), a multi-stakeholder group to spearhead the initiate action towards safer medicines by acting against unregistered counterfeit, substandard, or otherwise unsafe medicines. This is one of the activities of CSM to promote the said CSM..
       
       
      INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS ATTENDED RELATED TO POLICY- MAKING
      LAUNCH OF REGIONAL REVIEW ON LAWS, POLICIES AND PRACTICES WITHIN ASEAN RELATING TO THE IDENTIFICATION, MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT OF VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND AICHR-SOMTC CONSULTATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTIP AND APA

      PCTC represented the SOMTC Philippines on the ASEAN activity. It was held at Le Meridien, Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28-30, 2016. The Launch was hosted by ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and intended to share the findings and recommendation of the Regional Review with relevant ASEAN bodies and stakeholders. SOMTC Philippines representative delivered the Overview of the ACTIP with Focus on Human Rights-Based Approach to implementation of provisions related to prevention, protection and assistance, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of TIP, as one of the speakers on the AICHR-SOMTC Regular Consultation. PCTC representatives has furthered emphasized during the meeting Philippine efforts and initiatives, as SOMTC Lead Shepherd on TIP particularly the convening of regional cross-sectoral collaboration as its way forward towards the effective implementation of the ACTIP and APA.

       
       
       
      @Copyright 2010 Philippine Center on Transnatinal Crime