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UAE's Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi elected Interpol president

The National logo The National 25/11/2021 The National
Ahmed Al Raisi will serve as president of Interpol. Khushnum Bhandari / The National © Khushnum Bhandari Ahmed Al Raisi will serve as president of Interpol. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

A senior Emirati police official has been elected president of the global crime fighting agency Interpol.

Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi will serve a four year term as head of the organisation, which is based in Lyon, France.

A major general by rank, Dr Al Raisi currently serves as inspector general of the UAE's Ministry of Interior. He was elected by representatives of the 140 nations that are members of Interpol, gaining more votes than fellow candidate Czech police Col. Šárka Havránková, at a meeting in Turkey on Thursday.

Dr Al Raisi is the first candidate from the Middle East to assume the position since Interpol was founded in the 1920s.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, offered his congratulations, saying his election reflected on the UAE's "achievements and efficiency in the field of law enforcement".

Writing in The National earlier this year, he spoke of the need to "modernise and transform" the organisation to tackle ever more sophisticated criminal activities.

"Interpol is at a crossroads. Criminals have adopted the latest technologies, in some respects outpacing law-enforcement agencies," he wrote in September, as he set out his candidacy.

"To face these emerging forms of criminality, law enforcement co-operation and capacities must be ever more effective."

Dr Al Raisi, who already served on Interpol's executive committee, was seen as a frontrunner ahead of the election after travelling extensively to speak to global law enforcement figures about their hopes for the organisation.

Interpol, which has an annual budget of about $150 million, relies on the cooperation of its member countries to carry out operations.

Rather than arresting suspects itself, its personnel bring multiple agencies together on missions, which tackle human trafficking, the global drugs trade and the capture of high profile criminals.

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