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Defence/Security

INTERPOL best agency to track criminal activities – Minister

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The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi says the International Criminal Police Investigation (INTERPOL) is the best agency to track criminal activities in view of its global outreach.

Dingyadi disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the Nigeria INTERPOL week.

The minister said that the event was initiated to bring to the public, the INTERPOL tools and resources to familiarise operatives with their usage.

He described the hosting of the event in Nigeria as unique being the first time the country would host the event.

According to him, crime is growing very sophisticated and transnational, with organised criminal groups committing crimes that touch multiple jurisdictions.

Dingyadi said Nigeria was facing series of security challenges, ranging from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, trafficking in arms and other illicit activities.

He said the re-creation of Ministry of Police Affairs was to give special attention to police issues and reposition the force for better service delivery.

“The ministry under my direction will work with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ensure that the necessary tools and equipment needed by the police is secured to take policing to the next level.

“We will also work with other agencies and international partners to ensure that the Nigeria police become a model in law enforcement in the region.

“We will also work at improving the welfare of policemen to boost their morale for greater productivities and efficiency,” he said.

In his remark, Mr Mohammed Adamu, the IGP said the police would step up collaborative efforts in tackling border crimes.

Adamu said that new strategies and enduring partnerships were necessary to tackle security challenges.

“The signing of the African Free Trade Agreement within the ECOWAS framework will present new sets of security threats in the West African Sub-Region.

“In view of this, we need to step up our collaborative efforts, devise new strategies and build enduring partnerships to contain them.

“It is our expectation that this concern shall form part of our discourse during the 2019 INTERPOL Week,” he said.

He said the Nigeria INTERPOL National Central Bureau had maintained Criminal databases in information processing and sharing.

“These projects are supporting our efforts towards combating cybercrimes, drugs and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, armed robbery, car-jacking, fraud, environmental crimes, kidnapping for ransom, violent extremism, and terrorism,” he said.

reports that the event also featured the foundation laying ceremony for the Nigerian Police Force INTERPOL National Central Bureau Headquarters.

Defence/Security

Interpol extends specialised platform to EFCC 

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The International Police (Interpol) has extended its globalised information platform to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Spokesperson of the commission, Mr Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja
, said that the platform, codenamed 1P-247, was extended to the EFCC at a brief ceremony attended by the acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu.
“The IP-24/7
is a global police communications system that connects law enforcement agencies in all the 194 member- countries.
“It enables users share sensitive and urgent police information with their counterparts around the globe, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
With the extension of IP-247 to the EFCC, the commission now has direct and quick access to 18 databases through which information about criminal activities across the world can be accessed,” he said.
Oyewale also quoted the Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Abuja, Garba Umar, as congratulating Magu on the new milestone achieved by the commission.
Garba said that the extension of the platform was made possible by the EFCC chairman’s passion and determination in the fight against financial crimes in Nigeria.
He
described the platform as a great breakthrough in criminal investigations.
According to him, with access to the platform, the EFCC can now manage the 18 databases itself without going through the Interpol secretariat in Lyon, France.
Responding, Magu thanked the Interpol for extending IP-247
to the EFCC and its role in facilitating arrests and investigations of many high profile corrupt individuals.
“Things get done when you work with Interpol. We have been planning this since 2018 and I thank God it is happening today,” he said.
Magu also expressed delight that the platform would energise every enforcement initiative of the EFCC, stressing that “enforcement is the greatest deterrent to corruption.”
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the EFCC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Interpol on Nov. 29, 2018, as part of its collaborative efforts, aimed at tackling the menace of corruption in Nigeria.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Interpol issues red notice for wanted U.S. diplomat’s wife over deadly car crash in Britain

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The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on Monday issued a Red Notice for the arrest of a U.S. diplomat’s wife named Anne Sacoolas, who was charged over a car crash killing a young man in Britain last year.

Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike and a car collided outside a U.S. military base in Northamptonshire on Aug. 27 last year. The driver of the car, Sacoolas, returned to the United States, claiming diplomatic immunity and was subsequently charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service with causing death by dangerous driving.

Sacoolas’ husband is an American intelligence official working at a U.S. military base in central England, according to U.S. media. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later rejected an extradition request from the Home Office in January, triggering strong opposition from the British side.

Britain labelled the U.S. refusal a “denial of justice” and called the U.S. ambassador to Britain to express the government’s disappointment.

“We feel this amounts to a denial of justice, and we believe Anne Sacoolas should return to the UK. We are now urgently considering our options,” said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in an earlier statement.

Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence. A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action, Interpol explained on its official website.

The case of Sacoolas has been a thorn in the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain, prompting debates over the limits of diplomatic immunity in cases unrelated to national security, according to local media.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Crimes increasing rapidly during coronavirus pandemic, says Interpol

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Crime has rapidly increased during the new coronavirus pandemic as criminals and organised gangs quickly adapt their methods, according to Interpol.

Investigators found increased cases of cybercrime, fraud, theft, and forgery, the European police authority warned in a report published in The Hague on Friday.

The report states that the sale of counterfeit protective articles including masks, disinfectant gels, and medicines has increased considerably since the crisis broke out.

In March, some 34,000 counterfeit surgical masks were seized during a worldwide police operation against counterfeit medicines, Europol said further.

Counterfeit drugs include antiviral drugs, the anti-malaria drug Chloroquine and vitamins.

Europol Director Catherine De Bolle says this is unacceptable.

“Such criminal activities during a health crisis are particularly threatening and can endanger human lives,” De Bolle added.

Europol also warned against cyber criminals, particularly as many people now work from home where their data and network connection may be less secure.

Europol anticipates a rapid increase in fraud cases.

“Fraudsters very quickly adapted notorious patterns and exploited the fears and worries of victims during the crisis,” according to the report.

YEE

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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Foreign

Interpol warns police forces, public of Coronavirus scams

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Interpol has issued a notice to police forces around the world about various scams that have sprung up which take advantage of the Corronavirus (COVID-19).

The Lyon, France-based international policing body also appealed to the public to be vigilant when buying medical supplies online.

Interpol warned scammers have set up bogus online stores, as well as used social media accounts and email addresses to rip off people who think they are buying face masks and other equipment.

The organisation said: “Monetary losses reported to INTERPOL have been as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single case, and these crimes are crossing international borders.’’

Scams also include criminals, posing as health officials, calling people to tell them that a relative has fallen ill with COVID-19 and seeking payment for treatment on their behalf.

Other victims have received so-called phishing emails, supposedly from health authorities that trick them into providing payment credentials or opening an attachment containing malware.

Interpol secretary general Juergen Stock said: “Criminals are exploiting the fear and uncertainty created by COVID-19 to prey on innocent citizens who are only looking to protect their health and that of their loved ones.’

“Anyone who is thinking of buying medical supplies online should take a moment and verify that you are in fact dealing with a legitimate, reputable company, otherwise your money could be lost to unscrupulous criminals.’’

Interpol said that so far it has assisted national police forces with 30 COVID-19-related scams linked to Asia and Europe.

It said so far it has blocked 18 bank accounts and freeze more than 730,000 dollars in suspected fraudulent transactions.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Foreign

Chinese court jails former Interpol chief over graft

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A court in China on Tuesday jailed former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei for 13 and a half years, also fined him 2 million Yuan (290,000 dollars) for receiving bribes and abuse of official positions.

The global police coordination agency based in France, said in 2018 that Hongwei had resigned as its president after his wife reported him missing following a trip to his home country of China.

“ Hongwei, who admitted his guilt in July 2019, told the court in the northern city of Tianjin he would not appeal against the judgment,’’ it said in a statement online.

In March 2019, the ruling Communist Party said its investigation had found Hongwei spent “lavish” amounts of state funds, abused his power and refused to follow party decisions.

The court said Hongwei took over 14.46 million Yuan worth of assets in bribes and abused his former positions in the public security ministry and the coast guard between 2005 and 2017.

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Isaac Aregbesola

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Foreign

Japan asks Interpol for help to arrest wife of ex-Nissan chief Ghosn

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Japan has asked Interpol for its cooperation in arresting the wife of former Nissan Motor Co., Chief Carlos Ghosn, local media reported on Friday.

The move came after Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday obtained an arrest warrant for Ghosn’s wife Carole, 53, on suspicion of perjury during a court appearance in 2019.

Investigators believe Carole, who is now in Lebanon with Ghosn who jumped bail and fled Japan in late December, may have destroyed evidence in connection with her husband’s case involving financial misconduct.

She is suspected of denying during a court appearance in Tokyo last April that she knew an acquaintance of Ghosn although she is believed to have had contacted the individual.

Prosecutors believe Carole met with Ghosn’s acquaintance and exchanged numerous messages with him following her husband’s arrest on Nov. 19, 2018.

Japan has no extradition treaty with Lebanon, meaning that Carole’s arrest may be unlikely as will Ghosn be handed over to Japan to face the charges against him, in spite of Japan petitioning Lebanon to cooperate.

The latest move by the prosecutors, however, is believed to be aimed at restricting Carole’s activities, sources close to the matter added.

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Foreign

Interpol activates arrest warrant against Morales at Bolivia’s request – Interior Minister

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The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has activated an international arrest warrant for former Bolivian President Evo Morales.

According to the country’s interior minister, Arturo Murillo, the activation of the warrant is based on the Bolivian government’s request.

In December, the Bolivian authorities issued an arrest order for ousted Morales, accusing him of sedition, terrorism, and sponsoring terrorism.

Morales claimed he was not afraid of the warrant, calling it illegal and unconstitutional.

“I have given the order at 6:00 (10:00 GMT on Wednesday) to Interpol to activate the international order (against Morales),” Murillo said during a press conference on Wednesday, as quoted by the state Agencia Boliviana de Informacion.

Murillo added that it was important for Morales to be held to account for his actions in his own country.

Late last year, Bolivia experienced a change in leadership following mass protests against the results of the October general election.

Morales stepped down as president on Nov. 10 and fled to Mexico.

Most of Bolivia’s senior officials resigned in his wake.

This resulted in the senate’s second vice speaker, opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez, declaring herself interim president.

Morales has described the situation as a coup.
YEE

Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim

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Judiciary

Former AGF, Adoke regains freedom from Interpol, returns to Nigeria

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A Former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN,  regained freedom from the International Police, (Interpol) after one month and a week in their custody in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 

Adoke’s lawyer , Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who confirmed the development in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said Adoke was already airborne to Nigeria.

 

Adoke was arrested on Nov. 11 in Dubai by  Interpol immediately he entered the country to seek medical attention.

 

Interpol said their action was based on an international bench warrant for Adoke’s arrest issued on April 17 by Justice Danladi Senchi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

 

But Adoke had insisted his arrest in Dubai was illegal since the warrant had been vacated by the same court.

 

Ozekhome said the former AGF opted to come back to Nigeria to enable him to clear his name in the alleged fraud in OPL 245 otherwise known as Malabu Oil deal.

 

“He has been released and he is airborne to Nigeria. He has been released because nothing was found against him, nothing incriminating was found. So the UAE authorities and Interpol were forced to release him.

 

Ozekhome said Adoke bought his ticket himself to return to Nigeria because he believed he was innocent of the charges against him.

 

“He is coming on his own volition, he was not extradited, the Federal Government could not extradite him and would even have no reason to arrest him on his arrival because the order for his arrest has been set aside by Senchi on Oct. 25,” Ozekhome said.

 

Adoke’s extradition was faced with some huddles following failure of the Federal Government to communicate with Interpol and the authorities in Dubai on the order setting aside the bench warrant for his arrest.

 

Senchi had on April 17 issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Adoke and other defendants in the case but vacated it on October 25 following an application made by Ozekhome to that effect.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2017 filed charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and 10 others, including Adoke and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.

 

EFCC in the suit marked/124/17, accused the defendants of fraudulently allocating Oil Prospecting Licence 245 otherwise known as Malabu Oil.

 

They were also accused of other offences involving the sum of about 1.2 billion  dollars forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.

 

The alleged 1.2 billion dollars scam involved the transfer of OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.

 

Already Zenchi has commenced hearing in Adoke’s motion seeking the removal of his name from the Malabu Oil scam trial.

 

Adoke had in a motion  filed by Ozekhome sought an order of the court striking out his name as a defendant in the case.

 

His request was predicated on the grounds that he had secured a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, against the Attorney-General of the Federation, wherein he was completely exculpated with respect to the facts and circumstances relating to the scandal.

 

Ozekhome argued that having been exonerated in the Malabu Oil scandal by Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, the inclusion of Adoke’s name as a defendant in the criminal case was erroneous.

 

He claimed among others that EFCC concealed the April 13, 2018 judgment by Justice Nyako in which the court held that Adoke could not be held liable for any infraction in the whole Malabu Oil saga for carrying out a presidential directive from the FCT High Court.

 

This, he noted is “a gross miss-statement, mis-representation, concealment and suppression of material facts” by the EFCC.

Edited by: Chukwudi Ekezie
(NAN)

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Features

INTERPOL and challenge of global policing

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INTERPOL and challenge of global policing

By Monday Ijeh, Nigeria News Agency

International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) that came into existence in 1956 has the mandate to facilitate international police co-operation within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It was also established to develop institutions likely to contribute to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.

The INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organisation with 194 member countries, was expected to assist law enforcement agencies around the world in combating all forms of transnational crimes and terrorism.

Nigeria recently hosted the 2019 INTERPOL Week, the first since Nigeria became a member of the international police organisation in 1960.

The theme of the week was “ For a Safer World.’’

In attendance were National Central Bureau (NCB) focal officers from the 194 INTERPOL member countries and world security experts, security and safety agencies in Nigeria – NDLEA, EFCC, NIS, NCS, NAPTIP and NAFDAC.

Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police who spoke, said that the event was targeted at fine-tuning the existing working partnerships amongst security organisations within and outside Nigeria.

He said that the idea was to enhance the competence and capacities of the participants toward addressing the challenges of policing in the 21st century.

The I-G said the hosting of the event was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment towards driving global collaboration in addressing prevailing and emerging crimes.

Adamu pledged the commitment of the police to step up collaborative efforts in tackling border crimes, adding that new strategies and enduring partnerships were necessary to tackle security challenges.

“The signing of African Continental Free Trade Area agreement within the ECOWAS framework, will present new sets of security threats in the West African sub-region.

“In view of this, we need to step up our collaborative efforts, devise new strategies and build enduring partnerships to contain them.

“It is our expectation that this concern shall form part of our discourse during the 2019 INTERPOL Week,” he said.

He said the Nigeria INTERPOL National Central Bureau had maintained criminal databases in information processing and sharing.

“These include the I24/7 database which is currently being expanded under the Project Gemni, with support of the American Government and West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Criminal Data Base.

“These projects are supporting our efforts towards combating cybercrimes, drugs and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, armed robbery, car-jacking, fraud, environmental crimes, kidnapping for ransom, violent extremism, and terrorism,” he said.

Adamu called on participants to use the knowledge acquired to improve on their service delivery.

The I-G said that the presentations and discussions at the event were not only professionally and expertly delivered, but were also enriching.

He said the outcome of the event was measured, not only by the knowledge gained, but also by the strength of the professional networks established among and across the participating agencies and personalities.

Adamu said that the networks would assist participants to untilise the full tools of INTERPOL National Central Bureau towards attaining the mandates of the various participating agencies.

“This will enhance our common drive towards enhancing internal, regional and global security.

“As we end this event, we can all conveniently return to our duty posts with self confidence that we have been equipped with requisite knowledge to truly make the world a safe place.

“By this, we are aligning with the theme of the event and fulfilling the mission of INTERPOL in relation to preventing and fighting crimes through enhanced international police cooperation.

“As you go back to your various stations, therefore, I urge you to use the knowledge gained in this programme to make a difference in your various agencies,” he said.

Adamu pledged the commitment of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau to continue to maintain a positive disposition towards assisting all law enforcement agencies.

Adamu, who also spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of the ultramodern Nigerian Police INTERPOL National Central Bureau  headquarters, said on completion, the workers would have a comfortable accommodation to do their work.

Mr Garuba Umar, the Head of NCB and Commissioner of Police  in charge of INTERPOL Nigeria, said that policing was a global issue, while the INTERPOL  connects law enforcement agencies  globally, providing them with adequate tools to ease their work

According to him, such tools include the data, in terms of human trafficking, drug related issues, fugitives, fraud, murder, armed robbery and other criminal activities.

He said the major challenge militating the operation of INTERPOL in some countries was the difficulties in extraditing criminals.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, who spoke, said that INTERPOL was the best agency to track criminal activities in view of its global outreach.

He said that the INTERPOL Week was initiated to bring to public attention, the organisation’s tools and resources to familiarise operatives with their usage.

Dingyadi described the hosting of the event in Nigeria as unique, being the first time the country would host the event.

According to him, crime is growing very sophisticated and transnational, with organised criminal groups committing crimes that touch multiple jurisdictions.

Dingyadi said Nigeria was facing series of security challenges, ranging from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, trafficking in arms and other illicit activities.

Mr Obe Rudolf, the Managing Director, Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company (NPFPDCC) Limited, who spoke, said the project would serve as new abode for the INTERPOL.

Rudolf who is a commissioner of police, said the edifice initiated by the police management team, was funded through corporate social responsibility of some police investment units.

Rudolf said that the edifice was a signature project of the Nigeria Police Force, designed and to be built exclusively by technical personnel of the police.

He said the construction period, with timely availability and disbursement of funds would be 18 months.

Some participants at the INTERPOL Week commended the I-G for hosting the programme, adding that the experience gathered would enhance their service delivery.

The idea of International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) was conceived in 1914 at the first International Criminal Police Congress.

In 1923, the second International Criminal Police Congress laid the basis for the creation of the International Criminal Police Commission.

The constitution of the International Criminal Police Commission was unanimously adopted and the organisation assumed the name of INTERPOL at its 25th session in 1956.(Features)

**(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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