Interpol rejects Malaysia criticism of stolen passport database

Police agency says database checks take 0.2 seconds
Interpol rejects Malaysian criticism
Interpol rejects Malaysian criticism

Interpol hit out at a minister for suggesting that the international police agency’s database for stolen and lost passports was too slow for use by Malaysian authorities.

The Interpol statement reads:

“Malaysia’s decision not to consult INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database before allowing travellers to enter the country or board planes cannot be defended by falsely blaming technology or INTERPOL. If there is any responsibility or blame for this failure, it rests solely with Malaysia’s Immigration Department.

INTERPOL’s SLTD database takes just seconds to reveal whether a passport is listed, with recent tests providing results in 0.2 seconds.

The fact is that the US consults this database more than 230 million times per year; the UK more than 140 million times; the UAE more than 100 million times and Singapore more than 29 million times. Not one of these countries, or indeed any INTERPOL member country, has ever stated that the response time is too slow.

The truth is that in 2014 prior to the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, Malaysia’s Immigration Department did not conduct a single check of passengers’ passports against INTERPOL’s databases.

Consequently, two individuals possessing stolen Austrian and Italian passports were able to board MH 370. Had Malaysia consulted INTERPOL’s SLTD database, the fact that both passengers were using stolen passports would have been discovered almost instantaneously.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department owes it to all passengers boarding flights originating in, or passing through, Malaysia to make sure that passports registered as stolen or lost in INTERPOL’s databases cannot be used to board any flight.

In this regard, despite this unjustified attack on INTERPOL, we remain ready, willing and able to help Malaysia better safeguard its citizens and visitors from those seeking to use stolen or fraudulently altered passports to board planes.

INTERPOL has no idea why Malaysia’s Home Minister chooses to attack INTERPOL instead of learning from this tragedy.

After years of witnessing countries fail to consult INTERPOL’s SLTD database prior to allowing travellers to cross borders and board planes, INTERPOL created I-Checkit which will allow airlines and cruise lines to ensure that no passenger can use a stolen or lost passport registered in INTERPOL’s database to board one of their planes or ships.”