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Interpol Praises China's Security Preparations for Beijing Olympics


The head of the world's largest police organization, Interpol, says he is satisfied with China's security preparations for the Beijing Olympics. He was speaking at Interpol's Asian Regional Conference in Hong Kong, where senior law enforcement officials from across Asia discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in combating crime - ranging from sex attacks on children to cyber crime. Claudia Blume reports from Hong Kong.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble praised China's security preparations for the Olympics, when he opened the police organization's Asian meeting in Hong Kong, Monday.

"We have been working very closely with China, in this regard, for years now and especially this year," he said. "I have made one personal trip to China for the purpose of seeing the progress being made and, as I said, the progress is significant and the preparations are of the highest possible standard."

But he urged China to remain prudent, saying any international event can be a potential terrorist target.

One of the main themes of this year's Interpol Asia conference is the tracing and apprehending of child-sex offenders in the region. He says many perpetrators are from outside Asia and often travel from one country to another, making their identification and arrest difficult.

"What do we do as an international police organization if we know someone is engaged in this kind of sexual activity against the child victims and we know he is moving from one country to another country, because we don't have an arrest warrant? How can we stop his travel? Is there a way for the country of his nationality to suspend his passport and only allow him to return home? It is very complicated. These are the kind of issues we want to discuss during the conference," said Noble.

Other topics of the meeting include combating transnational intellectual property crime as well as so-called cyber crime. This includes international Internet fraud schemes as well as what Noble calls "cyber-terrorism" - sabotaging computer systems of governments or businesses.

Noble says there are many examples of the successful cooperation between Interpol and police in Asia. Last year, for example, "Operation Soga" against illegal soccer betting, led to the arrest of more than 400 people in countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.