Interpol-Sierra Leone accredited
The world’s largest police organization, Interpol, has accredited Interpol-Sierra Leone an observer status in the formation of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS). Interpol operates in 190 countries and was established in 1923.
Speaking to this medium, the Acting Director of Interpol-Sierra Leone, Mohamed Yansaneh, said that in September, 2012, the Interpol branch of the Sierra Leone Police was invited to attend the West African Police Chiefs Committee in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. During the meeting, he went on, important issues were raised on the need to enhance effective Inter-Regional Policing System.
“However, at the meeting, it was realized that countries within the sub region do not maintain or date their data bases on human, arms and drugs trafficking with Interpol-Sierra Leone being no exception,” he recalled.
The Acting Director also revealed that during the meeting in Abidjan, he had fruitful deliberations with the Interpol Special Representative to the European Union (EU) based in Brussels on policing cooperation. “In the 2012 Abidjan Summit, it was agreed that in order to enhance proper information sharing system, there was need for the creation of a West African Police Information System (WAPIS),” the Acting Director disclosed, adding that five countries were initially tipped to champion the pilot project, Mali, Benin, Niger, Mauritania and Ghana.
“As a result of the exemplary performance of Interpol-Sierra Leone, especially in the area of timely Information Sharing as requested by ECOWAS, Sierra Leone was co-opted and given an observer status within the pilot phase of WAPIS,” Mr. Yansaneh stated, furthering that as a way of popularizing the WAPIS, the Sierra Leone police in the past few days embarked on a week long tour, visiting almost all the transiting points including Gbalamuya, Kailahun, Gendema and the Lungi International Airport, meeting various law enforcement agencies on the need to enhance, the WAPIS initiative with the objective of understanding issues and matters relating to ECOWAS and WAPIS all in an effort to combat the incidence of transnational crime.
The team, he ended, was led by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Crimes and Service Division, Morie Lenghor and the Acting Director of Interpol, Mohamed Yansaneh.
By Abdul Rahman Kamara
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