KNPA senior delegates traveled to Washington and met with HSI officials at ICE's headquarters to sign the document. HSI Assistant Director of Domestic Operations Leigh Winchell and KNPA Deputy Commissioner General An Jae-kyung signed the six-page document, which outlines collaboration between the two agencies to combat transnational criminal activity. HSI and KNPA intend for this MOU to support the exchange of law enforcement information, the sharing of best practices and law enforcement techniques and cooperative investigative efforts.
"It is a pleasure for HSI to work with the KNPA on investigations involving fugitives, computer crimes, intellectual property theft and child exploitation cases," said Winchell. "Today's MOU signing is a stepping stone for the strong relationship between both countries. We will continue working together to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations."
"This MOU allows both agencies to exchange and share knowledge and expertise to further criminal investigations including cybercrimes," said Jae-kyung, "I hope that the signing will serve as a memento to develop our strong relationship to combat transnational crimes."
"It is an honor to work in Korea with the KNPA, one of our premier law enforcement partners that HSI can count on in coordinating investigations," said HSI Seoul (Korea) Attaché Taekuk Cho. "I believe this MOU underscores the commitment and partnership our two agencies have and will spearhead further joint cooperation between our two agencies."
HSI and the KNPA, the largest law enforcement agency in Korea, are no strangers when it comes to working together on investigations. Both agencies share the same criminal jurisdictions, including targeting child predators, fugitives, human traffickers, financial schemers and thieves who steal historic and cultural treasures. Both are also members of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to prevent and deter online child abuse.
Since last October, HSI Seoul and the KNPA joined forces in identifying 18 Korean fugitives wanted for serious financial crimes, who subsequently fled Korea to the United States with their ill-gotten gains. They were apprehended by HSI special agents and ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers and subsequently repatriated to Korea to face justice. Additionally, three American fugitives were apprehended and repatriated from Korea to the United States to face prosecution for financial crimes. Moreover, HSI Seoul special agents, in conjunction with the KNPA and other Korean law enforcement, have seized numerous counterfeit goods in Korea with an estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of approximately $60,000,000 in U.S. currency and arrested more than 73 individuals for violations of Korean trademark laws.
The delegation will also visit HSI Los Angeles where they will tour HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection port operations.
HSI's Office of International Affairs (OIA) is responsible for enhancing national security by conducting and coordinating international investigations. With agents in 75 offices in 48 countries around the world, OIA represents ICE's broadest footprint beyond our borders. HSI attaché offices work with foreign counterparts to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States.