Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The International Police Secretary-General, Jurgen Stock, says criminal networks in narcotics, weapon and migrants’ smuggling were taking advantage of lack of information sharing system by security agencies in West Africa to carry out their activities unhindered.
The Interpol chief warned that transitional criminal gangs were converging on the sub-region and feeding off one another.
Stock said this in Abuja on Tuesday during the signing of an agreement for the implementation of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) by the Federal Government and Interpol.
He stated that the signing of the agreement was a bold step forward in the collective fight against crime.
While commending the West African states for coming together to respond to the threats in the region, Stock said collective will was needed to ensure the success of the WAPIS programme, which he said would enable West African countries to have access to the global 24/7 communication network.
Stock said, “Increased criminal data available to law enforcement agencies within Africa and wider global police network is at the centre of our vision. Ultimately, the WAPIS programme will bring critical information closer to the front line for police officers across West Africa.
“Information is the life blood of law enforcement and the WAPIS programme will help police on the ground across the region and the global police community to have access to the vital data they need,” Stock said.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, said the establishment of WAPIS would boost information exchange, identify crime patterns, encourage best practices and develop an all-inclusive operational mechanism capable of neutralising identified and emerging security threats in the sub-region.
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