Bahrain police to attain Interpol access
Manama, February 19, 2013
Immigration authorities in Bahrain will soon have access to the world's largest policing body to track down identity thieves and fugitives, as France-based Interpol allows officers access to its database to detect stolen or fraudulent passports.
"What we are looking for here is to give Bahrain immigration officials access to the Interpol database," said Ronald Noble, secretary-general, Interpol, during his visit to the Hoora Police Station.
"In a couple of seconds detailed information will show up on their system and state if it's a fraudulent passport a person is travelling with."
He said the police organisation, which has 190 members, has 32 million stolen passports and identity documents in its database, which is called I-24/7.
Once the global police communication system is implemented in Bahrain, authorities can easily track down people travelling internationally on false identity documents, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
They will also have access to information on suspected criminals, wanted persons, stolen and lost travel documents, fingerprints, DNA profiles and stolen administrative documents, including stolen works of art.
"We had globally one billion searches that resulted in detection of millions of fraudulent passports or documents," added Noble.
"Also, nowadays, everyone has smartphones and as part of the forensic analysis in cases where phones are used by criminals, we are working on a system where police can get leads as they will know if the phone was used for any illegal activity."
Noble toured the newly-built interrogation rooms at the station, which have been installed with audio-visual recording equipment to ensure rights of individuals are not violated.
He said he was impressed by the "high standards" maintained by the Interior Ministry.
Capital Governorate Police Directorate director-general Brigadier Naji Al Hashil also briefed Noble on the cases they dealt with, especially expatriates travelling with false documents.
"We certainly are looking forward to this co-operation with Interpol as we do receive cases of people travelling on false identifications," he said.
The visiting official was also taken to the cells inside the station and was reassured of the rights of inmates.
"We inform the Public Prosecution within 24 hours and the suspect can see his lawyer, in addition, the suspect can make two calls - one to his lawyer and another to his family member or relative," said Hoora Police Station head Lieutenant Colonel Isa Al Ghatam.
The delegates also visited the operation room, where senior police officials spoke about using more than 100 CCTV cameras installed across the governorate to monitor any suspicious activity.
"This is one of the busiest police stations in Bahrain and deals with a wide range of cases on a daily basis," added Col Al Ghatam. – TradeArabia News Service