April 11, 2013
INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble Visits INTERPOL Washington
On April 9-10, 2013, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble visited INTERPOL Washington, the United States National Central Bureau. Mr. Noble is the first United States citizen to hold the position of INTERPOL Secretary General and the youngest in the history of INTERPOL. Mr. Noble's visit signified the vital partnership between INTERPOL and the United States in the increasingly globalized effort to combat transnational crime. During Mr. Noble's visit, INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray stated that "The fact that both INTERPOL President Ballestrazzi and Secretary General Noble took the initiative to visit our office during the past month was very significant for us. Mr. Noble was very supportive of the work that we do and even took the time to personally thank our staff individually."
In addition to Mr. Noble's visit to INTERPOL Washington, he also delivered the keynote address at the third annual International Engagement on Cyber conference at Georgetown University. Mr. Noble addressed the threat of cybercrime stating that it often "originates in one country, is aided in another, and felt in a third" which is "the reason why countries and their law enforcement have looked to INTERPOL." INTERPOL offers tools and resources, as well as a network of over 190 National Central Bureaus all over the world to put an end to transnational crime. Mr. Noble also noted INTERPOL's new International Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) that recently broke ground in Singapore. The IGCI will expressly address cyber security issues and build capacity in combating digital crime. Attendees of the conference varied from military to academia, from members of the intelligence community to cyber technology leaders.
Following his keynote address, Mr. Noble also met with recently-elected INTERPOL Vice President of the Americas region, Alan Bersin. A U.S. citizen, Mr. Bersin serves as the Assistant Secretary of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Pictured below is Secretary General Noble, Vice President of the Americas Region Bersin, and INTERPOL Washington Director Bray following the conference at Georgetown University.
March 28, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Provides Tip to USMS that Results in Arrest
On March 12, 2013, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) jointly arrested Keith Chambers, a convicted sex offender from Ireland, based on critical information provided by INTERPOL Washington. When Chambers moved to the United States, INTERPOL Washington received a tip from INTERPOL Dublin on Chambers' location that was forwarded to the USMS. A USMS detailee to INTERPOL Washington further discovered that Chambers did not disclose his previous conviction for a sex offense against a minor or register as a sex offender in his state of residency. Chambers was convicted on Nov. 2, 2000, in the County of Mayo, Ireland, for attempting to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl and was sentenced to four years in prison and was required to register as a sex offender in Ireland for an indefinite period. Chambers was in the process of obtaining an Alien Registration Card or Permanent Resident Card when the USMS provided his prior conviction information that was obtained through INTERPOL Washington. With Chambers' conviction information in hand, the USMS National Sex Offender Targeting Center made a joint arrest in Chicago, Illinois with ICE-HSI for immigration violations. He is currently in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
March 20, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Forwards Lead to ICE that Results in Arrest
With the support of a lead from INTERPOL Washington, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Melvin Sanchez-Izaguirre, an illegal re-entry wanted for kidnapping and murder in El Salvador. An ICE officer detailed to INTERPOL Washington "notified (ICE) of an active Red Notice on Sanchez by law enforcement in San Salvador" and forwarded a fugitive lead on Sanchez to ICE on March 5, 2013. Within ten days, Sanchez-Izaguirre was arrested in Manassas, Virginia and awaits "removal proceedings and a final order of removal by an immigration judge" according to ICE. For more information on the Sanchez case, please view ICE's full press release.
March 20, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Supports the FBI's Renewal of the Largest Property Crime in U.S. History
On March 18, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) renewed a 23-year-old stolen artwork case-the largest property crime in U.S. history-with the support of INTERPOL Washington. In conjunction with the FBI office in Boston, INTERPOL Washington sent a message to all INTERPOL member countries that provided images of the stolen artwork and asked for assistance in locating the artwork. The artwork was stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on March 18, 1990, and the 13 stolen works of art include rare paintings by Rembrandt, Degas and Vermeer valued at approximately $500 million dollars.
The FBI has continued the investigation of the theft and the Gardner Museum offered a $5 million dollar reward for information on locations of the stolen works of art. For more information on the case including images of the stolen artwork, please view FBI's press release. If you have information on the stolen artwork, please contact the FBI's hotline at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip on the FBI's website.
March 15, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Representative Leads Session at Preventing Illicit Trafficking - Protecting Cultural Heritage Conference
On March 15, 2013, INTERPOL Washington's Stolen Art and Antiquity Manager David Whitmire presented at the Preventing Illicit Trafficking -Protecting Cultural Heritage Conference in Washington, D.C. Whitmire led a session titled the "Role of INTERPOL Washington in Stolen Artwork and Cultural Property Investigations," where he explained how law enforcement agencies can utilize INTERPOL and how it is uniquely equipped to support their investigations. The conference was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center.
March 15, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Analyst Participated in a "Train-the-Trainer" Course for the International Child Sexual Exploitation Database
On March 4-8, 2013, an analyst from INTERPOL Washington's Human Trafficking and Child Protection Division participated in a "train-the-trainer" course on the INTERPOL International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database in Brasilia, Brazil. During the second part of the week, the three new U.S. trainers - including the INTERPOL Washington analyst - trained Brazilian Federal Police representatives on the ICSE database. According to INTERPOL, the ICSE database uses "sophisticated image comparison software to make connections between victims and places" and equips police in the identification of victims in investigations worldwide.
February 28, 2013
INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi Visits the United States
On February 24-26, 2013, INTERPOL Washington welcomed INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi's first official visit to Washington, D.C. and hosted her for a comprehensive briefing and tour of the United States National Central Bureau. During her visit, Ms. Ballestrazzi attended meetings with high-ranking United States officials in Washington, D.C. coordinated by INTERPOL Washington. Ms. Ballestrazzi was elected the first female INTERPOL president at the INTERPOL General Assembly in November 2012; she will serve as President until 2016. INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray remarked, "President Ballestrazzi's visit to the United States and to INTERPOL Washington was truly an honor. We are humbled that she visited INTERPOL Washington during her first months in her new role as President. We look forward to working together to create an even stronger relationship between the United States and INTERPOL."
February 12, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Chief Information Officer Speaks at the 2013 Adobe Government Assembly
On February 12, 2013, INTERPOL Washington Chief Information Officer Wayne Towson spoke at the 2013 Adobe Government Assembly at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The conference was sponsored by Adobe Digital Government and comprised of leaders from both public and private sectors. Mr. Towson and four other panelists specifically addressed "How to Extend Your Agency's Forms to the New Mobile Landscape." Due to the 24/7 operation of INTERPOL Washington and its role as a liaison point to INTERPOL National Central Bureaus across the world and to over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, Mr. Towson emphasized the national expansion of INTERPOL as a service and how mobility plays a critical role in delivering INTERPOL data to law enforcement agents in the field. Mr. Towson articulated how INTERPOL Washington has adapted wiki-forms, developed e-forms to streamline paper-based business processes, and optimized its digital and mobile platforms for 24/7/365 usage. In the future, INTERPOL Washington will leverage commercial cloud solutions for the creation of a law enforcement communication platform.
January 28, 2013
INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray Gives Opening Remarks at INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport Workshop
On January 25, 2013, INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn A. Bray gave the opening remarks at the INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop co-hosted by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). As written in the World Football Insider's article, Director Shawn Bray stated that, "This workshop has the goal to raise awareness of the key contemporary match-fixing issues and threats in football, and to identify good practice and areas for development. The goal is to bring together players, referees, coaches, sports associations, betting regulators and law enforcement to improve individuals' awareness and understanding of corruption in football, understand the strategies used by its perpetrators and learn some methods to recognize, resist and report them." For more information, please read the full World Football Insider's article.
January 14, 2013
U.S. Senators and INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray Visit INTERPOL Regional Bureau in Argentina
On January 11, 2013, a United States congressional delegation comprised of Senator Richard Shelby (AL), Senator Thad Cochran (MS), Senator Susan Collins (ME) and Senator Michael Crapo (ID) visited INTERPOL's Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires, Argentina "to see first-hand the added value to national and regional law enforcement through international police cooperation." INTERPOL Secretary Ronald K. Noble and INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray were among the officials who welcomed the four senators and the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. During their visit, the INTERPOL Regional Bureau updated the U.S. congressional delegation on "the world's largest police organization's tools and activities which assist US law enforcement to protect the country's 315 million citizens and 50 million visitors."
Please see an excerpt from INTERPOL's press release on the visit:
"Briefing the delegation during their visit on Friday, Secretary General Noble said as the world's highest user of INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database, the US was setting an example for other countries to follow. More than 220 million checks were carried out by the US in 2012 alone, resulting in some 10,500 people identified as attempting to enter the country on fraudulent passports.
'Neither INTERPOL nor its member countries will stop their searches for dangerous criminals wanted for arrest internationally until they are apprehended,' added the INTERPOL Chief, highlighting the case of Joran Van der Sloot.
The 25-year-old Dutchman was arrested in Chile in 2010 after INTERPOL Peru issued an alert that he was wanted in connection with the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, a crime Van der Sloot later pled guilty to and was sentenced to 28 years in January 2012.
Van der Sloot also remains the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, issued at the request of US authorities for extortion in connection with the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, for whom an INTERPOL Yellow Notice, an international missing persons alert, remains valid.
(...) Mr Noble also pointed to the recent success of Operation Spartacus, an anti-human trafficking initiative coordinated by the Buenos Aires Regional Bureau. The six-week operation (...) resulted in the rescue of 365 victims and 197 arrests."
INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray spoke about the U.S. congressional delegation's visit in his INTERPOL YouTube interview. Director Bray stated that, "What I believe the Senators took away from this visit was a commitment to partnership between the South American countries, INTERPOL and the United States, to take a hard look at crime and how they are going to go about combatting it together." Pleased to see growing congressional interest in the vital transnational casework completed around the world through INTERPOL, Director Bray looks forward to next steps to "take together to advance INTERPOL and the operational opportunities presented to us both here and within North America."
For the full press release, please see INTERPOL's press release.
December 20, 2012
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole Installs New INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn A. Bray
WASHINGTON - Shawn A. Bray, a 24-year-veteran of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was sworn in today by the U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole to be the new director of Interpol Washington. Interpol Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau, is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice and is co-managed by the DHS.
In his remarks at the installation ceremony, Deputy Attorney General Cole called Director Bray, "an outstanding leader and public servant who will honor and carry forward Interpol's long tradition of excellence."
Deputy Attorney General Cole also praised Bray for his achievements while serving as Deputy Director.
"Over the past three years, Shawn Bray's vision and expertise have proved essential. At every turn, he has never hesitated in taking bold steps to tackle any obstacle, while bringing out the very best in those around him. In doing so, he has helped to build a more collaborative environment at Interpol Washington."
Also in attendance at today's ceremony was Secretary Janet Napolitano from DHS, Director John Morton, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin, DHS International Affairs and Vice President of the America's Region to the Interpol Executive Committee who was elected to the Interpol Executive Committee during the 81st Interpol General Assembly which occurred in Rome, Italy, November 5-8, of this year.
The Secretary applauded Director Bray for his efforts to support law enforcement agents and officers in the field.
"The work of Interpol has never been more important to the security of our country and to our partners around the world, and today, Shawn Bray's installation as Director of Interpol Washington is another step toward greater law enforcement cooperation, " stated Secretary Janet Napolitano.
"ICE is very pleased with the selection of Shawn Bray to head Interpol in Washington," said ICE Director John Morton. "I am very confident this ICE veteran will build upon the superb efforts of his predecessors and further advance Interpol's great work to promote law and order around the world."
Mr. Bray started his career in 1988 as a Special Agent assigned to the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Investigations in Arizona. While serving in Arizona, Mr. Bray was also assigned as Senior Special Agent in the U.S. Customs Service Office of Internal Affairs. In 2003, DHS was established and the U.S. Customs Service merged with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to become the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Mr. Bray has held numerous positions within ICE, the largest investigative agency in DHS. Prior to joining Interpol Washington, he served as an HSI Operations Chief with responsibility for the Southeast Region of the United States. In addition, Mr. Bray led the ICE Cyber Crimes Center as its Unit Chief, where he oversaw all domestic and foreign cyber investigative and forensic operations within its three primary components: the Child Exploitation Program, Cyber Crimes Section, and Digital Forensics Program.
December 14, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray Speaks at the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Conference
On December 13, 2012, INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray delivered a speech on "Furthering the HIDTA and INTERPOL Partnership" at the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Administrator Michele Leonhart from the Drug Enforcement Administration served as the conference's keynote speaker. The conference was highly attended by more than 300 police chiefs, special agents in charge, U.S. attorneys, sheriffs, and other law enforcement leaders across the United States. The conference was hosted by The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy with a theme of "HIDTA - The Federal, State and Local Partnership to Disrupt the Market for Illegal Drugs."
December 5, 2012
INTERPOL Washington, ICE, CBP, and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Work Together to Recover Five Statues Valued at $5 Million
A 14th century A.D. bronze Parvati statue and four bronze Tamil Nadu figures valued at $5 million were recently recovered through joint collaboration between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI), INTERPOL Washington, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The Parvati statue was listed in INTERPOL's stolen artwork database.
INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray is quoted in ICE's press release stating: "The combined efforts of the dedicated employees at ICE/HSI, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and Interpol Washington have once again provided reassurance to other nations that transnational crimes of this nature can be combatted. One of Interpol's primary purposes is to connect police all around the world through utilizing special operations like 'Operation Hidden Idol ' to seize significant historical properties such as the Parvati (...) I am extremely proud of the level of collaboration during this four-year-long case."
ICE Homeland Security Investigation's "Operation Hidden Idol" as been able to seize up to $100 million dollars' worth of stolen antiquities since 2007, including the five missing bronze statues. The seizure is a direct result of international and U.S. domestic cooperation. Please read more about the case in ICE's official press release.
November 27, 2012
DHS Assistant Secretary Bersin Elected to INTERPOL Executive Committee
INTERPOL Washington would like to proudly announce the successful election of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin to the INTERPOL Executive Committee. Mr. Bersin will serve as the Vice President for the Americas Region the next three years. For additional information, please view the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's blogpost from their website.
Every year, the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL, comes together at its General Assembly to discuss the organization's priorities and to elect the members of its governing board--the Executive Committee.
This year, at the 81st INTERPOL General Assembly held in Rome, Italy, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin was elected to serve a three-year term as Vice President for the Americas on the INTERPOL Executive Committee. Mr. Bersin was elected with overwhelming support from the approximately 170 member countries in attendance. This year's assembly also saw the largest U.S. delegation in history, reflecting the important role INTERPOL plays in international security, and in the security of the United States.
During his keynote address, Mr. Bersin underscored the need to work together on border security to combat transnational crime, and the importance of information-sharing between various law enforcement agencies and with INTERPOL. DHS currently utilizes INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Document database every day to verify the travel documents of travelers seeking to enter the United States.
Mr. Bersin will continue to serve in his current role as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's principal advisor on international affairs, and through his new responsibilities, work on advancing DHS' collaboration with the world's largest international law enforcement organization and its member countries.
In October, Secretary Napolitano visited the INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France, where she signed joint statements with Secretary General Ron Noble to further enhance cooperation between DHS and INTERPOL on border management and human trafficking.
INTERPOL Washington congratulates Mr. Bersin on his appointment and for his commitment to combating transnational crime. INTERPOL Washington looks forward to working with Mr. Bersin on advancing international security and liaison between the United States and INTERPOL in Lyon, France.
November 20, 2012
U.S. Delegation Participates in the 81st INTERPOL General Assembly
From November 5-8, 2012, the U.S. Delegation attended the INTERPOL General Assembly in Rome, Italy with the theme of "Challenges for Police Facing Contemporary Crime." Notably, Deputy Attorney General James Cole addressed the General Assembly Ministerial Meeting on the importance of fighting Transnational Organized Crime and Human Trafficking. Law enforcement officials from over 170 INTERPOL Member Countries attended the four-day conference where they approved a joint declaration that would recognize strategies to combat criminal activity through increased partnership, information sharing, and use of police tools and service. During voting, Mr. Alan Bersin, former Commissioner for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was elected the Vice President for the Americas Region on the INTERPOL Executive Committee. Mr. Bersin will serve for three years and supervise the executions of decisions made at the General Assembly. For more information on the 81st General Assembly, including passed resolutions and newly elected members of the Executive Committee, please visit the INTERPOL's Website.
October 15, 2012
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Signs Agreements to Advance Global Security with INTERPOL in Lyon, France
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano made a historic visit to INTERPOL in Lyon, France on October 8, 2012. Secretary Napolitano's visit marked the entrance of DHS into a series of agreements that would enhance the global fight against human trafficking and other serious crimes. DHS also pledged support for the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) set to open in Singapore in 2014. The IGCI will serve as a key resource in an area that desperately needs expansion and a global focus: digital crime, cyber security and forensics. For the full story, please see INTERPOL's press release.
September 24, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Hosts Partner Outreach Event
On September 21, 2012, INTERPOL Washington hosted its inaugural Partner Outreach Event with approximately 200 attendees across public and private sectors. The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the facilities, where division representatives spoke on their scope and capabilities. Attendees included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton, as well as many other partners in law enforcement agencies, government, congressional committees and offices, foreign embassies, private entities, and non-governmental organizations.
August 23, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Representatives Attend International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators Annual Training Seminar
INTERPOL Washington representatives attended the Annual International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) Training Seminar in San Antonio, Texas from Monday, August 13 through Friday, August 17, 2012. IAFCI's mission is to educate law enforcement and investigators on fraud prevention methods and trends in financial crimes to increase the security of the financial payment industry. Several of the seminar topics included counterfeiting, social networking fraud, organized crime schemes, and mortgage fraud. With more than 600 people in attendance, INTERPOL Washington representatives staffed a booth that provided information on INTERPOL Washington to seminar participants.
August 23, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Representatives Attend International Terrorism and Organized Crime Conference
INTERPOL Washington representatives attended the International Terrorism and Organized Crime Conference from Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10, 2012 in Anaheim, California. Sponsored by the Asian Gang Investigator's Association, the annual conference covered a range of topics including international and domestic terrorism trends, organized crime, human trafficking, identity theft, drug trafficking, international money laundering, and computer forensics. Additionally, INTERPOL Washington representatives provided attendees with an overview of INTERPOL Washington and its resources, programs and initiatives that assist law enforcement in combating terrorism, human trafficking and gang-related crimes.
August 23, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Representatives Attend 24th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference
INTERPOL Washington representatives attended the 24th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference from Monday, August 13 through Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. Professionals from across the world attended from fields including law enforcement, law, child protective services, social work, advocacy, and medicine, most of whom work directly with children who are victims of crime. The conference provided a forum to share the most current information, ideas, training, and strategies to help professionals combat crimes committed against children. INTERPOL Washington representatives conducted a presentation on the agency and its work on children's issues.
INTERPOL Washington Hosts Advisory Committee for International Association of Chiefs of Police
On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, INTERPOL Washington hosted the Advisory Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, chaired the working meeting. Topics covered included the 119th Annual IACP Conference next month in San Diego, CA, IACP national points of contact, and upcoming IACP international conferences. A guest speaker from the intelligence community also spoke on international law enforcement and intelligence integration as mandated in the Strategy to Combat Transnational Crime.
July 27, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Assists in Arrest of Ulrich Engler
INTERPOL Washington assisted in the arrest of fugitive Ulrich Felix Anton Engler on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Engler was wanted by the German authorities for a pyramid scheme, operated from his financial firm in Florida, which defrauded investors in Germany of at least $100 million dollars from 2003 to 2004. A warrant and an INTERPOL Red Notice were issued for his arrest in 2007 by the German courts in Mannheim and Hamburg. At the time, Engler was believed to have been residing in Florida; however his exact whereabouts were unknown. In 2011, the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in conjunction with INTERPOL Washington began to reexamine the case and determined that Engler was perpetuating his fraudulent schemes in Nevada under a new identity. Personnel from the USMS in Washington, D.C., the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florida, and INTERPOL Washington officials traveled to Nevada to apprehend Engler. Officials from the USMS from the District of Nevada, ICE, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and the Las Vegas Police Department coordinated the investigation and arrest of Engler.
July 13, 2012
INTERPOL Washington Hosts Inaugural Congressional Open Forum on Capitol Hill
Sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (IL), INTERPOL Washington hosted their first Open Forum for Congressional staffers on July 13, 2012. Approximately 30 Congressional staffers attended the forum led by INTERPOL Washington's Director, Deputy Director, and General Counsel. Specific topics included INTERPOL Washington's role in the United States and internationally, INTERPOL Red Notices and Executive Order 12425. Following the discussion, INTERPOL Washington officials opened the forum to Q&A and addressed specific questions that Congressional staffers had regarding the agency. Please view photo gallery.