- Policia Nacional de Panamá
Countries of Central America and the Caribbean participate since Tuesday in Panama in a regional course given by Interpol, to train police officers in the fight against the scourge of illicit trade, informed an official source.
At the opening of the workshop, it was pointed out that the trade in illicit products represents a great challenge for the international community and a huge risk to world public health, the National Police of Panama (NPP) said in a statement.
Felix Avellán, criminal intelligence officer of the General Secretariat of Interpol in Lyon, France, said that this training seeks to increase the capacity of security institutions in the trafficking of illicit goods.
The training also aims to facilitate the exchange of best practices and cooperation with the private sector, as well as discuss the planning of an operation against this crime, added Avellán.
The deputy commissioner of the NPP, Héctor Wong stressed that crimes against Intellectual Property are activities that "directly affect the economy of any country, especially the sector of large industries".
Wong mentioned that among the big ones affected by this criminal activity are pharmaceuticals, textiles, record companies, film companies and the automotive industry, among others.
The Panamanian official also said that Panama has increased seizures of all types of products from various parts of the world, which are calculated in large amounts of money, preventing them from reaching these criminals.
Countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Panama participate in this training that will last three days.
For Panama, officials of the Public Prosecutor's Office (PPO), police units of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DJI) of the National Police, as well as the National Directorate of Police Intelligence (NDPI), National Border Service (Senafront) participate in the workshop and National Customs Authority (NCA).
The Panama Customs Authority achieved between November 2017 and October 2018 more than $ 43 million in seizures of counterfeit and suspected contraband goods and the withholding of undeclared money from international and local travelers, according to official data.