The U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB)—has partnered with the U.S. Department of State and INTERPOL to dramatically improve Nigeria’s border security screening capacity. Under the U.S.-funded Project TERMINUS, on September 7th, Nigeria became the first African country to implement an automated system for uploading stolen and lost passport documents (SLTD) into the INTERPOL database that can be queried by all 194 INTERPOL member countries. This automation was made possible by implementing INTERPOL Washington’s SLTD Uploader software solution.
INTERPOL Washington’s Project TERMINUS, funded by the U.S. Department of State, executes solutions to upgrade INTERPOL member nations’ access to INTERPOL information sharing services. The goal of Project TERMINUS is to extend INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure global police communications system in high risk areas and select host nations. “INTERPOL Washington is pleased to continue our partnership with the U.S. Department of State to develop and deploy advanced tools and technology to assist our worldwide law enforcement partners in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism. By improving border security in Nigeria, we not only improve the safety of Nigerian citizens, we also strengthen the global chain of law enforcement tools linking together INTERPOL’s member countries,” said USNCB Director Uttam Dhillon.
This initiative also helps member countries to meet their United Nations Security Council obligations to “… prevent the movement of terrorists and terrorist groups by effective border controls … and to “… improve international, regional, and sub-regional cooperation through increased sharing of information.” Due to any number of challenges, many countries, such as Nigeria, lacked access to INTERPOL’s 97-million-document SLTD database.
The SLTD Uploader software solution is a USNCB custom design which allows both the Nigeria Immigration Service and the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Abuja to connect directly to the INTERPOL database. Nigeria’s first document stream automatically uploaded approximately 150,000 SLTD records held in the Nigerian domestic SLTD database. This accomplishment culminated more than four months of active collaboration between the USNCB, the State Department, INTERPOL, and the Government of Nigeria, all of which was conducted virtually for the first time. “The completion of this project illustrates the ability of the USNCB to continue fulfilling its important around-the-clock mission in the midst of a worldwide pandemic,” said Dhillon.
The Nigeria project is the latest in a series of successful SLTD access improvement projects under the TERMINUS initiative, each building on prior lessons learned. Similar efforts have been executed in Malaysia and Indonesia, over the last three years.
INTERPOL’s SLTD database is a critical tool for combatting terrorism by preventing Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) movements by identifying and interdicting FTFs and other transnational criminals using stolen, lost or revoked documents such as passports, visas and identity documents. By ensuring that law enforcement officers have access to INTERPOL’s I-24/7 system, front line authorities can search and cross check traveler data in a matter of seconds and share sensitive or urgent police information with their counterparts around the globe in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.