Arizona Financial Crimes Task Forces Receives 2007 IACP/ChoicePoint® Excellence in Criminal Investigations Award
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and ChoicePoint (NYSE: CPS) today announced that the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force is the 2007 recipient of the IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations.
The Task Force – a partnership of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Phoenix Police Department and Arizona Attorney General’s Office – conducts criminal investigations related to financial crimes, including money laundering. The Task Force uses a “follow the money” strategy to combat the crime of human smuggling. Their efforts over the years have included the development and use of what is known as “damming warrants,” which are served to block or “dam” wire transfers of money by non-banking money transmitters to stem the flow of laundered criminal proceeds through Arizona.
In 2006, Task Force investigators detected an unusual level of travel activity associated with six travel agencies for flights in and out of Las Vegas, involving undocumented persons who were smuggled through Arizona and destined for other parts of the country. As a result of this and other suspicious activity that resulted in the issuance of two “damming warrants,” the Task Force was able to disrupt the human smuggling operations, seize $5 million in money transfers and arrest 126 persons.
For its innovative tools and investigative approach to the crime of human smuggling, the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force was awarded the IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations for 2007.
“The Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force is honored to receive this award,” said Director Roger Vanderpool of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “By halting the flow of illicit funds, criminals have fewer incentives to participate in illegal activities like racketeering, drug trafficking and terrorism. In addition, other criminal activities are abandoned without funding from money laundering and other financial crimes.”
“The Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force has created a robust program to combat these sophisticated criminals by cutting off their funding so other crimes cannot be committed,” said Chief Ron Ruecker, Director of Public Safety, Sherwood, Ore., and president of the IACP. “We are proud of the investigative advancements achieved by the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force and its member agencies, and we are pleased that its work can now assist other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to combat crime and the funding of crime.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Montreal Drug Section, is the first runner-up for the IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation. The Montreal Drug Section used innovative thinking and non-traditional partnerships with the Canadian Navy to undertake an operation that in 2006 culminated with the seizure of more than 22 tons of hashish in a vessel-to-vessel transfer that occurred 200 miles off the shore of Angola in international waters.
The Sacramento Police Department was the second runner-up for this year’s award, recognizing their effort in gang investigation and gang intervention.
The IACP joined with ChoicePoint in 2003 to create the Excellence in Criminal Investigations Award as a way to encourage the use of exceptional innovation and recognize outstanding achievement by law enforcement organizations in conducting investigations. The annual award also promotes the sharing of information on best practices in investigations and investigative techniques.
“ChoicePoint is proud to partner with the IACP for this award recognizing law enforcement officials for their efforts in finding new and innovative ways in bringing criminals to justice,” said Jim Zimbardi, ChoicePoint senior vice president.
The award is presented at IACP’s annual conference in recognition of excellence in criminal investigations.
Nominations are submitted by chief executives of law enforcement at the local, state, federal and international level. A panel selected by the IACP reviews all nominations and selects the winners. Judging focuses on the contributions to the advancement of the art and science of criminal investigations and innovation in investigative techniques.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with nearly 20,000 members in 100 countries. The IACP’s leadership consists of the operating chief executives of international, federal, state and local agencies of all sizes. For more information, visit the IACP Web site at www.iacp.org
ChoicePoint (NYSE: CPS) provides businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations with technology, software, information and marketing services to help manage economic and physical risks as well as identify business opportunities. Consumers have free access to the reports we create at www.ChoiceTrust.com. Learn what we do to protect consumer privacy by visiting www.PrivacyatChoicePoint.com and, for more information on our company, go to www.ChoicePoint.com.
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