Singapore, Nov 22 : A massive border operation coordinated by Interpol has detected 36 suspected foreign terrorists in addition to other criminals travelling across Southeast Asia.
Aimed at reinforcing cooperation between law enforcement agencies in order to identify, arrest and investigate terror suspects and criminals crossing borders in the region, Operation Sunbird 4 was launched at the end of October.
The police, immigration and maritime officials at 90 air, land and sea operational spots across the ASEAN region carried out a series of searches, leading to 24 arrests, including 11 individuals wanted internationally via Interpol Red Notices.
Among those arrested, a fugitive wanted in Pakistan on terror charges was detected at Jakarta airport, while an individual wanted in Thailand on human trafficking charges was detected at Bali airport.
"The operation generated a number of investigative leads, 36 of which were linked to the movement of terror suspects, and two linked to individuals targeted by sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) under the framework of its special notice," a media statement by Interpol read.
The operation that took place between October 29 October and November 7 ensured exchange of information and follow-up actions between the participating agencies in the following ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
It's purpose was to improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies in the field so that they can conduct screenings effectively and in real-time on passenger travel documents.
"Operation Sunbird is a perfect example of Interpol connecting countries to disrupt the mobility of terrorists and criminals which threatens all regions," said Interppol Secretary General Jurgen Stock.
Interpol's databases currently hold details of 52,500 foreign terrorists and some 750,000 pieces of terrorist-related information.