US, Thai networks join to find missing, exploited children
Thai authorities will now be able to gain access to the reports of the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) after the signing of an agreement in the United States on the Cyber Tipline Remote Access Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
Spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said Pol Col Gen Tamasak Wicharaya, head of the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (TICAC), on Monday signed the information-sharing agreement with NCMEC president and CEO John Clark at the NCMEC's office in Alexandria, Virginia.
Pol Lt Gen Tamasak said the task force is recruiting and preparing to train officers as the TICAC and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) set up the system to work more closely together.
The number of TICAC staff will be increased from four to 15, he told the Bangkok Post.
In the past, the HSI sent about 30 reports or alerts to TICAC annually, he said.
Witnessing the signing ceremony were the US State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the HSI, representatives from the Thai embassy in Washington DC, Royal Thai Police Commissioner of Legal Affairs and Litigation Pol Lt Gen Jaruvat Vaisaya, and the acting deputy assistant director, HSI International Operations David Prince.
Pisan Manawapat, the Thai ambassador to the US, said the agreement shows the firm partnership between the two countries to end child sexual exploitation and ensure wrongdoers face justice.
TICAC was set up in 2015 and has worked closely with the FBI and the HSI.
In many cases, the real-time integration of information led to success in investigations into human trafficking, Ms Busadee said.