ASEAN eyes closer law enforcement ties vs terror threat

By Priam Nepomuceno

September 22, 2017, 4:27 pm

MANILA -- ASEAN member states are looking at much closer coordination with law enforcement groups as the Interpol and ASEANAPOL in the ongoing campaign against the spread of terrorism, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy said Thursday.

When asked whether the just-concluded 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crimes (AMMTC) came up with any new measure to combat terror threats, Cuy said, "One of them is the involvement of Interpol and ASEANPOL with regards to suspected individuals who might be involved in terrorist activities, as well as the exchange of information on financial transactions on suspected groups and individuals also, as well as the monitoring of foreign terrorist fighters who might be attempting to enter the region, Southeast Asia."

Interpol is the International Criminal Police Organization based in Lyon, France that deals with terrorism and related crimes. ASEANAPOL is short for the ASEAN Association of Chiefs of Police that deals with transnational crimes.

Considered as transnational crimes are terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, arms smuggling, money laundering, sea piracy, cybercrime, economic crime, environmental crime, intellectual property theft, and smuggling of cultural property.

During the four-day meeting, Cuy said member states of ASEAN, including its dialogue partners China, Japan and South Korea, were unanimous in acknowledging the threats posed by extremists.

"It was agreed that there should be a closer coordination, cooperation with regards to the effort on counter-terrorism. So, it’s again, information sharing, exchanging best practices, training, capability building and even resources. They talked about improvement in the capability of member countries to combat terrorists," he added.

The Philippines hosted the 11th AMMTC on Sept. 18-21, which was attended by leaders and heads of delegations of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (PNA)