The International Criminal Police Organization has been forced to cancel its three phases of Operation Simba due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to reports from the Standard on Thursday, April 9, Interpol suffered a setback after representatives drawn from the participating countries, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania were recalled by their governments to join in combating the pandemic.
Interpol was conducting operations on counter-terrorism, money laundering, carjacking, drug and human trafficking, smuggling of weapons, poaching and piracy in East Africa, dubbed Operation Simba.
The Interpol head and regional CT node for Eastern and Southern Africa Daniel Damjanovic confirmed the decision to halt the program which is in its second year.Masked Interpol officers arrest a crime suspectFile
“We have halted the program because of the COVID-19 global outbreak. Some of the officers have been recalled to go and beef up controls in implementing their relevant government's measures put in place to contain the pandemic,” he explained.
Head of Interpol regional bureau for Eastern Africa and Executive secretary of East Africa police Chiefs Organization (EAPCCO) Gideon Kimilu and Deputy Director Criminal Investigations (DCI) Joseph Ashimala praised the officers for their commitment and dedication despite the COVID-19 challenges.
Kimilu also stressed the role of Interpol, which he stated as the biggest police organization in the world tasked with ensuring the safety of communities.
“Simba operation is among a series of operations which are annually carried out by Interpol in the Eastern Africa region. The operation targets the movement of terrorist fighters in the region,” explained Kimilu.
He stressed the role of Interpol, which he stated as the biggest police organization in the world tasked with ensuring the safety of communities.
Operation Simba was launched by Interpol in 2019 and is coordinated by the counter-terrorism experts from its headquarters in the United States of America (USA).
The program is aimed at equipping officers with the ability to recognize a traveller as a potential terrorist or criminal using Interpol's wide range of policing capabilities installed at air and land border crossings.
The employment of these tactics and technology go a long way in enhancing border security and deny terrorists the opportunity to move within the region.An immigration official serves travellers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.File
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