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Taiwan’s INTERPOL participation as observer will make the world safer

Taiwan’s exclusion from the organisation has continued for 34 years. The nonsensical policy is politically-motivated and can only hamper the fight against international crime on Taiwanese soil and across the world

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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Transnational crime is on the rise. Law enforcement agencies worldwide can only be effective against this trend where there are strong ties and efficient cooporation. It is for this reason that Taiwan must be allowed observer status in the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL)
Transnational crime is on the rise. Law enforcement agencies worldwide can only be effective against this trend where there are strong ties and efficient cooporation. It is for this reason that Taiwan must be allowed observer status in the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL)

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By Tsai Tsan-Po*

Transnational crime is on the rise. Law enforcement agencies worldwide can only be effective against this trend where there are strong ties and efficient cooporation. It is for this reason that Taiwan must be allowed observer status in the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL).

Taiwan’s exclusion from the organisation has continued for 34 years. The nonsensical policy is politically-motivated and can only hamper the fight against international crime on Taiwanese soil and across the world. In particular, the lack of timely access to key intelligence shared via the I-24/7 global police communications system and the associated database concerning stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD) has had serious implications for Taiwan’s ability to implement security checks at its borders and fight against terrorism, human trafficking, and other transnational crimes. 

Taiwan’s request for observer status at the INTERPOL General Assembly in 2016, as well as its 2017 request to host a major event support team (IMEST) for the Summer Universiade in Taipei were both rejected by INTERPOL. No resolutions or arrangements by INTERPOL should override the aim of strengthening police cooperation and the prohibition of political interference so clearly expressed in its Constitution.

Taiwan has spared no effort to combat cross-border crime over the years and has solved many criminal cases in collaboration with law enforcement agencies of other countries. Earlier this year, Taiwanese and Thai police conducted a widespread crackdown on economic crime, recovering 120 million baht (US$3.69 million) in illicit funds. In another case, Taiwanese and Philippine police worked together to capture a Philippine City Councilor wanted for drug trafficking who had fled to Taiwan. 

Following a cyber-attack on a local bank in October 2017, Taiwan relied on intelligence provided by the National Central Bureaus of Interpol Member States to intercept stolen funds worth over USD$60 million. These achievements have received international acclamation and recognition. With access to INTERPOL, Taiwan can further grow in its ability to fight global crime.

Global security and social justice should transcend regional, ethnic and political differences. We urge you to support Taiwan’s participation in the INTERPOL General Assembly this year as an Observer, as well as in INTERPOL meetings, mechanisms and training activities. By speaking up for Taiwan at international events, you can make a real contribution to promoting Taiwan’s pragmatic and meaningful participation in INTERPOL and, therefore, work towards a safer world.

*Commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Republic of China (Taiwan)


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