Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Huang Ming-chao ((黃明昭)) spoke with Taiwan Today about exclusion from the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and how Taiwan Can Help achieve a seamless security network through participation in the group’s activities, mechanisms, and meetings, including the annual assembly.
Taiwan Today: What are the professional and pragmatic appeals made in Taiwan’s bid to participate in INTERPOL?
Huang Ming-chao: This year, we are seeking support for attendance as an observer at the INTERPOL General Assembly in October in Santiago, Chile. We are also calling for direct access to the Global Police Communications System databases via I-24/7 as well as participation in the INTERPOL-organized training programs to help our police force tackle cross-border crime, safeguard national security and foster close links with the international community.
We have communication channels with like-minded countries to urge them to express their support for our bid to participate in INTERPOL’s activities, mechanisms, and meetings. We will continue working on growing exchanges and interactions with police forces worldwide and listen to their advice regarding how to promote the bid.
TT: Given current international geopolitics, what are the major difficulties facing Taiwan in its bid to become an observer at INTERPOL. How can such problems be overcome?
Huang: As INTERPOL’s third largest funder, China has great influence on the organization’s agenda and workings, which obviously presents us with a big challenge. Last year, INTERPOL’s secretariat asked us to deal with a case through China’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Beijing and even downgraded the Criminal Investigation Bureau under Taiwan’s National Police Agency to the level of a local branch in China, disregarding our sovereign status and our considerable contributions to tackling cross-border crime.
We will continue to engage with our allies and other like-minded countries to reaffirm with INTERPOL that we are the only legitimate government representing Taiwan; moreover, we are a government that was established through popular election by 23 million people. INTERPOL should respect this fact, instead of kowtowing to political pressure, and propose a feasible path for Taiwan to be incorporated into the international security network as soon as possible to create a seamless global protection system.
TT: How can including Taiwan in INTERPOL help with international efforts to fight drug trafficking?
Organized crime is increasingly using international drug trafficking groups that cooperate across borders. In Southeast Asia, for example, it is more and more difficult for law enforcement agencies in one country to fully investigate the extent of a transnational criminal network involving drug production, transportation, sale and financing.
To strengthen protection against such crime, the CIB has sent police officers to 13 countries and territories, namely Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Macau, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S. They are responsible for coordinating with local law enforcement on a bilateral or multilateral basis.
In countries where the CIB does not have officers stationed, however, we have to work through a third party, which slows down investigations due to our exclusion from the INTERPOL system. And timing is critical in such cases.
TT: How is Taiwan engaging in international exchanges to boost cooperation with police agencies from other countries and territories?
Huang: As part of ongoing efforts to foster global partnerships, last year the NPA and CIB co-hosted the International Forum on Police Cooperation regarding combating transnational telecommunications fraud in Taipei City. A total of 127 foreign officials from 38 countries and territories attended.
In September, this year’s edition of the forum focusing on combating transnational drug crimes was attended by 117 foreign officials from 32 countries and territories. Both events were visited by representatives from the U.S.-based International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as from the local public and private sectors, demonstrating our determination and capability to work with countries worldwide to fight fraud and drug crime while building platforms for cooperative judicial and police action.
Fighting crime transcends national boundaries and political concerns. Taiwan is willing and able to share its knowledge and experience with other countries to help with global efforts in law enforcement and maintaining order. A crucial means through which we can do so is by actively working together with INTERPOL for the common good of the international community.