The National - News


▶ Maj Gen Ahmed Al Raisi becomes the first successful candidate from the Middle East


A senior Emirati police official has been elected president of Interpol.

Maj Gen Ahmed Al Raisi will serve a four-year term as head of the global crime-fighting agency, which is based in Lyon, France.

He was elected by representa­tives of 140 nations that are members of Interpol, gaining more votes than fellow candidate – Col Sarka Havrankova of the Czech police – at a meeting in Turkey on Thursday.

Inspector general of the Ministry of Interior, Maj Gen Al Raisi is the first candidate from the Middle East to assume the position since Interpol was founded in the 1920s.

He said it was “an honour” to be elected to the role.

“Interpol is an indispensa­ble organisati­on built on the strength of its partnershi­ps. It is this collaborat­ive spirit, united in mission, that I will continue to foster as we work to make a safer world for people and communitie­s,” he said.

Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock welcomed Maj Gen Al Raisi’s appointmen­t.

“I look forward to working closely with him in ensuring that Interpol continues to fulfil its mandate and support internatio­nal police co-operation,” he said.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, offered his congratula­tions, saying Maj Gen Al Raisi’s election reflected the UAE’s “achievemen­ts and efficiency in the field of law enforcemen­t”.

Writing in The National earlier this year, Maj Gen Al Raisi spoke of the need to “modernise and transform” Interpol to tackle sophistica­ted criminal activities.

“Interpol is at a crossroads. Criminals have adopted the latest technologi­es, in some respects outpacing lawenforce­ment agencies,” he wrote in September, as he set out his candidacy.

“To face these emerging forms of criminalit­y, law enforcemen­t co-operation and capacities must be ever more effective.”

Maj Gen Al Raisi, who already served on Interpol’s executive committee, was seen as a front-runner before the election.

He had travelled extensivel­y to speak to global lawenforce­ment figures about their expectatio­ns from the organisati­on in the run-up to the election.

The role of the president, which is part-time and unpaid, is to chair the general assembly and three meetings of Interpol’s executive committee each year.

Interpol, which has an annual budget of about $150 million, relies on the co-operation of its member countries to carry out operations.

Besides chasing suspected criminals with a red notice issued for them, Interpol personnel bring many agencies together on missions. These tackle human traffickin­g, the global drugs trade and the capture of high-profile criminals.

Abu Dhabi was recently one of the global centres in a major anti-traffickin­g operation led by Interpol that led to 286 arrests globally.

Interpol, which is an inter-government­al body, said its officers rescued about 430 human traffickin­g victims and identified 4,000 irregular migrants originatin­g from 74 countries.

Many of them required medical, psychologi­cal and housing assistance and were taken into the care of protective services.

 ?? ?? Maj Gen Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi will serve a four-year term
Maj Gen Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi will serve a four-year term

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