International Week

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) International Operations protects America's borders, national security and public safety by investigating, disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that engage in all types of smuggling, including narcotics, money, weapons, sensitive technologies, as well as the smuggling and trafficking of human beings. HSI International Operations also investigates the criminal threats that TCOs pose to America's legitimate commercial trade, travel and financial systems through trade fraud and intellectual property theft; the diversion of military weapons, munitions and sensitive technologies; international money laundering and financial fraud; immigration fraud; and child sex tourism and the sexual exploitation of children.

HSI International Operations special agents collaborate with host nation law enforcement counterparts to further the transnational criminal investigations being conducted by domestic HSI field offices. HSI International Operations special agents also build counterpart capacity and develop and maintain critical professional relationships through outreach and training.

To highlight HSI International Operations, its mission and the people who make the office successful, the Office of Public Affairs created “International Week,” which begins April 2, and will conclude April 5. For this designated period, International Operations will be on full display. Through text, photos and video, OPA will showcase the agency’s largest investigative presence overseas, highlighting their service to their country and commitment to supporting ICE’s mission.

Know Your Leadership: P.J. Lechleitner, Assistant Director, HSI International Operations

International Programs

International Week Icons

Attaché Spotlights

International Operations maintains 68 attaché offices and eight Department of Defense liaison officers in 51 countries focusing on terrorists and criminal organizations that engage in human smuggling and trafficking; trafficking of narcotics, money, weapons and sensitive technologies; and sexual exploitation of children, including child sex tourism. HSI’s International Operations partners with foreign and domestic counterparts – including INTERPOL, EUROPOL, and the WCO – to conduct international law enforcement operations and to support removals from the United States.

HSI International in Action

ICE HSI Manila rescues 9 trafficked victims during Philippine cybersex operation

ICE HSI Manila rescues 9 trafficked victims during Philippine cybersex operation

HSI Manila special agents, the HSI Manila Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU), and HSI Boston coordinated a real-time surveillance operation in the U.S. and the Philippines, which led to the arrests of two Philippine nationals and the rescue of nine trafficked minor victims, ranging in ages from one to 17 years of age. This operation was supported by the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the International Justice Mission (IJM), a non-governmental organization. The nine children were taken into DSWD custody.

ICE Colombia announces results of 2 major anti-money laundering operations during visit by HSI EAD

ICE Colombia announces results of 2 major anti-money laundering operations during visit by HSI EAD

HSI Executive Associate Director Derek Benner traveled to Colombia In December 2018, to attend several high-level meetings with their Colombian counterparts, where they announced the results of two major anti-money laundering operations, Operation Viridi (known as Operación Eslabon by Colombian Law Enforcement) and Operation Sin Fronteras.


Caso Pilato nets 53 MS-13 arrests (HSI Badge image)

Caso Pilato nets 53 MS-13 arrests

Caso Pilato, an 18-month investigation into the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) in El Salvador, with significant support from HSI San Salvador, concluded last week with the arrests of 53 MS-13 members and associates during Operation Tecana, the enforcement phase of the investigation.

US, UK law enforcement sign proclamation against female genital mutilation and cutting

US, UK law enforcement sign proclamation against female genital mutilation and cutting

Law enforcement officials from the United States and the United Kingdom wrapped up Friday a "week of action" during which they conducted outreach at major international airports with the goal of education about and prevention of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). This outreach, called "Operation Limelight", was conducted at four international airports in the U.S. – John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport – and at Heathrow Airport and train stations throughout the UK.


Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/04/2019