The Philippines and its neighbors, which are under siege from crime syndicates, will derive benefit from transnational cooperation in police work.
President Rodrigo Duterte, for instance, had mentioned that most of the drug traders now operate abroad after the launch of what he termed as the unrelentless anti-narcotics campaign.
The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, is the key body, which seeks to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance among police authorities, and serves as the world’s largest platform for security cooperation.
Geopolitics, however, have stood in the way of having the most efficient coordination among nations under Interpol with the exclusion of Taiwan. which has a pending proposal for membership for the past 37 years.
Needless to say, the gap in the international security network had caused concern for law and order in countries across the globe.
As terrorism and cross-border crimes increase and become more ruthless, a seamless global law and order protection system becomes an imperative.
Taiwan’s police organization can help a lot if it is allowed a seat in the international body or at least be allowed as an observer.
The Republic of China or Taiwan joined Interpol in 1961 but was forced to withdraw after China became a member in 1984.
Interpol has since denied Taiwan the right to participate, citing a resolution accepting China as a member that was passed at the 53rd General Assembly in 1984.
Interpol thus also denies the essential service that it can provide the nation, which plays a key role in international transport and tourism.
Being outside the ambit of Interpol raises its vulnerability to cross-border criminal activities.
The steady increase of international visitors placed Taiwan under considerable pressure to ensure border security, maintain law and order, and counter terrorism, making the country an indispensable link in the global security system.
Taiwan’s continued exclusion from Interpol undermines the global endeavor to fight terrorism, illicit drugs, telecom fraud, cybercrime, and other new forms of transnational crime, thereby diminishing the integrity and effectiveness of the international security network.
In August 2018, police authorities in Taiwan and the Philippines seized 500 kilograms of methamphetamine, or what Filipinos know as shabu, smuggled from Malaysia through a joint maritime operation.
Later, in October, Taiwan worked with South Korea to seize 112 kilograms of methamphetamine smuggled out of Thailand.
As cross-border drug trafficking rings operate in many nations and illicit drug activities are often relocated to evade law enforcers, it has become imperative for the Taiwan police to work with their counterparts in joint prevention efforts.
For instance, transnational telecom fraud cases investigated by Taiwan police in recent years were often connected to human trafficking and money laundering.
To deter such crimes, Taiwan’s entire police force took part in a nationwide crackdown on telecom crime syndicates and uncovered 7,320 cases in 2019.
The police also took proactive measures to prevent illicit financial outflows, including tracking cash flows behind the scenes and blocking money transfers from victims of syndicates.
As telecom crime networks have expanded across the globe, Taiwan is offering to share its experience with investigating and preventing such criminal activities that cause major financial losses to people in many countries.
Interpol’s unreasonable refusal to take in Taiwan, most of all, contravenes its founding principle of professionalism and the spirit of its Constitution to extend its mantle of protection to every nation of the planet.