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Intelligence unit and database connected to Interpol:

SL to enhance border security

Project will help identify passengers arriving and leaving Sri Lanka instantly:

Shantha Kulasekara

The government has planned to establish a Migration Intelligence Unit and a National Stolen and Lost Travel Document Passport database with “on-line real-time access” to Interpol’s global database to enhance Sri Lanka’s border security, strengthening its counter terrorism capacity.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) initiated this project under the directions of the Defence Ministry, International Organization for Migration, Migration Management Head Shantha Kulasekara told the Daily News.

The government will implement the project by the end of this year.

“The Interpol database services will be integrated with Sri Lanka’s immigration information system through the National Central Bureau,” he said on the sidelines of a two day workshop at the Taj Samudra Hotel yesterday morning hosted by IOM with the participation of senior officials from the Defence Ministry, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Criminal Investigation Department and State Intelligence Services. Kulasekara said with the implementation of this project the Immigration Border Control System will be able to access the Interpol database services within a split second which consists of over 20 million data on lost passports and related documents.

He added that the authorities would be able to identify the passengers arriving and leaving Sri Lanka instantly or before hand so that the arrival or the departure of high risk passengers could be prevented beforehand if needed. Kulasekara said that cross border criminal activities such as money laundering, drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, financial fraud and people smuggling, which are the main avenues for financing terrorism all over the world, are conducted due to a relaxed international travel environment and improvement in transport worldwide.

He added that this move was of great importance to protect our borders and enhance the capacity of counter terrorism. The workshop is a component of a government of Canada funded project to support Sri Lanka’s border security by strengthening its capacity to collect, analyse and share immigration intelligence. It is also a part of a boarder global Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Programme established by the Canadian government.

 

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