How Interpolâ€™s I-24/7 system is curbing transnational crimes
As criminal networks continue to devise means to implement their evil plans, the International Police Organizationâ€™s â€“ Interpol â€“ I-24/7 communication system has fundamentally changed the way the global law enforcement community works jointly to combat such sophisticated transnational crimes.
The tool connects all law enforcement agencies from 190 Interpol member countries and allows investigators access Interpolâ€™s critical criminal data to search and cross check data on suspected criminals or wanted persons, stolen and lost travel documents, stolen motor vehicles, fingerprints, DNA profiles, stolen administrative documents and stolen works of art.
According to ACP Tony Kuramba, the Commissioner for Interpol and Cooperation in Rwanda National Police (RNP), the system has highly paid off in Rwanda mainly due to the fact that it is supported by Rwandaâ€™s advanced technologies rolled at all its border posts.
He was speaking on February 24 after RNP handed over a stolen Toyota Noha UAL 123L vehicle to Uganda Police, which was intercepted as Kagitumba border post recently as it crossed into Rwanda.
The handover was held at Kagitumba border.
The minivan was intercepted on February 2 after it was found on the Interpol database as stolen. However, after notifying Uganda Police, it was instead found out that the Ugandan authorities, who entered the vehicle in the system, had recovered it but were yet to update their database to remove it from the list of stolen vehicles.
â€œRwanda National Police understands well the usefulness and effectiveness of the I-24/7 tool and thatâ€™s why we were so fast to install it at all border posts and even share the database with other institutions like Customs and Immigration,â€ ACP Kuramba said.
Customs have access to â€˜Rwanda Single Windowâ€™ that helps them to identify if for example an imported vehicle was stolen while Immigration has access to â€˜Travel Marchâ€™ which allows them to identify if individuals entering or leaving the country are wanted in any country, if they are traveling on forged or revoked documents.
â€œThis has helped to foil theft especially of vehicles that are stolen from other countries and try to use Rwanda as either a destination or transit to other countries,â€ ACP Kuramba said.
â€œThis is an indication that we have strengthened border security through use of modern technologies; this has as well been realized through cooperation against transnational crimes which has gone beyond just stolen vehicles to also counter other cross-border crimes like drug traffickers,â€ he said.
Through the use of the international police communication tool, RNP has intercepted about 12 vehicles stolen in the last two years, majority stolen from Kenya and Uganda all which were returned to authorities or rightful owners in countries of origin.
Others had been stolen from the Netherlands, Japan, UK and Belgium