Corruption and Underdevelopment

Interpol, ICPC, others sign MoU on Database access

By Paul Michael, Abuja

• As Owasanoye vows to profile PEPs, money laundering suspects

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and other security agencies to grant them access to the global database of the organisation.

The Chairman of the ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, who made this known at the end of a meeting by Heads of Nigerian Law Enforcement Agencies with top officials of Interpol in Lyon, France, said the Commission will utilise the database in profiling Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), money laundering, and illicit financial flows suspects.

ICPC
ICPC

It was gathered that the Nigerian delegation to Interpol was made up of top officials of the National Central Bureau Abuja (NCBA), Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) and the ICPC.

The high point of the meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Interpol was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the International Police and ICPC, NFIU, NAPTIP, NDLEA, and EFCC, which granted the law enforcement agencies access to the organisation’s databases.

At the meeting, the ICPC boss discussed how the anti-corruption agency and the country could take advantage of the Interpol database in profiling suspects.

“The Commission will develop the habit of issuing notices, especially on high profile suspects. Such notices will be seen globally on PEPs in particular,” Prof Owasanoye said.

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The ICPC Chairman also disclosed that the Commission would join the Global Focal Point Network coordinated by Interpol as part of measures to tighten the noose around corrupt and criminal persons.

Interpol is expected to support the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria through the strengthening of information sharing, utilisation of the organisation’s database of global suspects, and prevention of incursion and influx of migrant terrorist fighters into Nigeria.

The Interpol briefed the Nigerian delegation on Operation Gemini, a special project focusing on trans-border organised crime involving migration, human trafficking, drug trafficking corruption, and financial crimes.

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The International Police also held special sessions with the delegation which were devoted to international and regional cooperation in law enforcement, operational methods of Interpol and strategies for data and informational sharing, Interpol policing capabilities, role of the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Nigeria, and Nigeria Border Management strategies, integration of Nigeria Law Enforcement Databases with Interpol NCB.

Under the MoU signed with Interpol, the Nigerian law enforcement agencies will have unrestricted access to global criminal databases. It is expected that this fresh collaboration will boost the capacity of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to fulfil their mandates.

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