WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday with the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation designed to speed the investigation and information-sharing process between the agencies. ICE is the first U.S. agency and second in the world to sign a MOU with the Russian organization.
This signing is the result of a three-year effort to enhance law enforcement partnerships and cooperation both in the U.S. and Russia. The agreement will change the way information is exchanged and requested, and provide real-time collaboration on potential and ongoing international criminal investigations.
"The flow of information between our agencies can be subjected to unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions and obstacles," said John Morton, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. "This agreement allows both agencies to bypass those hurdles, allowing for the timely sharing of information. In complex international criminal investigations, speed of information can be the difference between success and being one step behind."
"This Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Homeland Security and the Investigative Committee of the Public Prosecutors Office is the latest example of how law enforcement agencies in Russia and the United States are joining forces, under the auspices of our Bilateral Presidential Commission, to combat sexual crimes against children, human trafficking, and financial crimes. As a result of this MOU, we strengthen our ability to protect the most vulnerable members of our societies, to the mutual benefit of both countries," said U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, John Beyrle.
ICE has the customs authority to investigate crimes within and outside the borders of the United States, and this agreement is a necessary and important tool which will facilitate ICE's continued success in international cases. ICE and the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation have worked together on mutual investigations on crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking and smuggling, financial crimes, and cyber crimes that affect both the U.S. and Russian communities.