Information on terror groups, fugitives, crimes having international link, modus operandi of notorious crime syndicates based overseas and stolen travel documents would soon be a mouse click away for Indian investigation agencies.
The Interpol has offered to give access to its global database to Indian security agencies in an attempt to combat terrorism and other serious crimes.
The move comes in the wake of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack which has startled security and intelligence agencies worldover. The Interpol has offered to give access to the database to all investigative agencies including the state police departments of the country.
Officials in central investigation agencies said the talks on the issue began in mid-December when Interpol's Secretary General Ronald Noble visited India to assure support in Mumbai terror investigations. During his visit, Noble met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Officials said though talks on the issue have already begun, the modalities of the system are to be worked out. “The arrangement will soon be fine tuned and it will be decided whether all the investigation and intelligence agencies would have direct access to the database or they will have to get it through the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Interpol's nodal agency in India,” said a CBI officer requesting anonymity.
The Interpol has also offered its state-of-the-art technology to enable immigration officials to carry out direct screening of passports and other travel documents. With this the officials could cross check the passport or travel documents with Interpol's global database of more than 1.6 crore stolen and lost travel documents.
Besides the travel documents, the other important areas where Indian agencies would benefit once they have accesss to the database would be investigation into terrorism cases, narcotics drug smuggling, international vehicle theft racket and tracking fugitives.
Officials in Indian investigation agencies said that at present they have to go through a long process and paper work to get information on any of these subjects. “If we get access to Interpol's database, we would save tremendous time in investigation and this could speed up trials,” an official said.