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05/10/2010

ICE and Abu Dhabi sign strategic information sharing agreements

ICE is the first U.S. government agency to sign an agreement with Abu Dhabi

WASHINGTON - In order to enhance partnership and information sharing, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Abu Dhabi Customs Administration of the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Monday. These agreements formalize parameters for the exchange of information in support of customs investigations and provide ICE's technical assistance in establishing a Customs Academy in Abu Dhabi.

At a ceremony at ICE headquarters, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton and Director General of the Abu Dhabi General Administration of Customs Saeed Ahmed Abdullah al Muhairi signed the MOU and MOC which signify a new level of mutual cooperation and collaboration between ICE and Abu Dhabi.

"ICE is committed to fostering collaborative efforts between the United States and Abu Dhabi in investigating and prosecuting transnational offenses involving violations of immigration and customs law," said Assistant Secretary Morton. "I am hopeful that success of the Customs Academy in Abu Dhabi will serve as a model for neighboring countries by demonstrating the accomplishments of pioneering vision and bilateral commitment."

By signing this MOU, ICE is the first U.S. government agency to sign an agreement with Abu Dhabi. This MOU is the cornerstone of ICE Attaché Abu Dhabi's strategic efforts to increase bilateral engagement on issues of mutual investigative concern with Abu Dhabi Customs. The agreement will formalize parameters for the exchange of information in support of customs investigations and will provide for real-time sharing of information, exchange of best practices and law enforcement techniques and in depth investigative and prosecutorial assistance.

The MOC will increase the level of cooperation between the parties on customs matters, and will formalize ICE's ability to provide technical advice and expertise in establishing a Customs Academy in Abu Dhabi.

The ICE Office of International Affairs is responsible for enhancing national security by conducting and coordinating international investigations. With agents in over 63 locations around the world, the ICE Office of International Affairs represents DHS' broadest footprint beyond our borders. ICE attaché offices work with foreign counterparts to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States.