In an age where bombs can be detonated from an unprecedented distance with the mere push of a button, and where a computer has the ability to wreak the kind of havoc that resonates around the world; those whose duties it is to maintain the peace and order of a country are expected to be several steps ahead of a criminal or schemer who wishes them harm if they want to ensure their national security. In an attempt to keep up with the demands of an evermore intricately connected global community, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has teamed up with other countries to create the Border Control Airport and Seaport Security (“BCASS”) exposition. Its inauguration, held in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) earlier this month, brought together military, political and law enforcement leaders from across the world to focus on how nations can collectively gather knowledge and resources to make the world a safer place. Because ICE’s national security extends far beyond our country’s borders, their participation was crucial for these plans to be orchestrated properly. ICE Deputy Director Kumar Kibble spoke at the event and highlighted how it combats criminal networks by building partnerships with countries across the world. “Sharing law enforcement intelligence with our international partners and conducting joint transnational investigations leads ICE to unfathomable criminal networks,” said he. “We intend to share best practices in law enforcement techniques, arrange joint investigative teams and offer investigative and prosecutorial assistance in the pursuit of convictions and prosecutions of customs violators.”
He shared the successes from a recent investigation called “Pacific Rim” where ICE and its foreign counterparts disrupted an international money laundering and drug trafficking network that spanned every continent on this planet except for Antarctica. This operation included smugglers who had brought tons of cocaine into the United States on yachts and semi-submersibles along the Mexican and United States maritime border. As a result of international collaboration the operation “netted five guilty pleas, 16 indictments and 18 arrests along with seizures totaling approximately $155 million in currency, 3.3 tons of cocaine, $37 million in criminal forfeitures, and $179 million in property.” Apart from helping identify previously unknown smuggling routes, this success also impacted the flow of drugs into the U.S. and the smuggling of illegal proceeds out of the country.
The need for international collaboration as a means of helping bring down criminal networks was echoed by the U.A.E. Ministry of Defense in his call stressing the need for global partnerships, ” Modern technologies have recently played an effective and very important role in detecting threats, defining them, tracking them, tackling them and preserving security. Yet cooperation and coordination on both national and international levels is equally important.” It is our conviction that these measures taken by ICE and its international counterparts will serve to curtail illicit crimes; as such, we support this initiative for all of the positive outcomes it has the potential to bring.