Law enforcement agencies must collaborate to tackle security challenges: Masagos

SINGAPORE - It is in the common interest of all countries to group together and nurture networks of trust through which bilateral and multilateral cooperation against crimes can take place, Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday.

Speaking to law enforcement heads from the region at the Interpol's Asian Regional Conference, Mr Masagos said the Asia Pacific region continues to enjoy the world's fastest growth, increasing the attractiveness of the region to organised crime groups.

He cited traditional security concerns such as drug and human trafficking, as well as terrorism and cybercrime.

In terms of facilitating regional dialogues on safety and security, Mr Masagos said the region has done "considerably well".

He cited the Asean ministerial meetings on transnational crime and the East Asia Summit, which allow regional leaders to meet on a regular basis to discuss security issues.

The global police organisation Interpol has similarly organised capability building conferences for member countries to learn best practices and to build networks to tackle transnational crime.

One example of this, Mr Masagos pointed out, is the Eurasian working group on cybercrime that was held in Singapore last year.

Interpol has also coordinated many successful joint operations to disrupt criminal networks in the region, he added, citing Operation Soccer Gambling, an ongoing effort to tackle illegal soccer gambling in Asia.

Its last operation during the 2014 FIFA World Cup nabbed 1,400 people in over 1,000 raids.

The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Napier Road will strengthen the "global network of cybercrime investigators through the setting of global standards and protocols in cybercrime investigations and forensics".

The biennial conference brings together law enforcers from Interpol's Asian and South Pacific member countries.