US and Austria's Joint Efforts in Combating Serious Crimes

OrganizationsInternational Organizations ♦ Published: August 5, 2022; 07:23 ♦ (Vindobona)

A report has recently been published that evaluates the success of the joint effort between the USA and Austria in preventing and combating serious crimes.

The cooperation between the USA and Austria could contribute to several arrests. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Yumi Kimura from Yokohama, JAPAN, CC BY-SA 2.0

Since 2012, the USA and Austria have had an agreement that provides for joint action in combating and preventing serious crimes. A report was recently published that evaluates the success of the joint project.

The agreement, which entered into force on 4 May 2012, creates the basis for more efficient cooperation between the Austrian security authorities and their US counterparts, in particular by enabling the automated retrieval of dactyloscopic data (fingerprints) - a great advantage for both countries.

In this context, the primary goal is to prevent terrorist and serious crimes with a transnational dimension. To this end, automated retrieval of fingerprint data from the respective countries is envisaged. Personal data and other information will only be transmitted to the requesting contracting party upon request through the national contact point.

Success of the joint agreement

The report paints a positive picture of the cooperation between the USA and Austria. Thus, after intensive preparatory work, fingerprints and other sensitive information could be exchanged via secured and encrypted channels as of October 2017.

The current operations are extremely successful and have already led to the identification of numerous criminals who have committed crimes in Austria using false identity data or who are being investigated for membership of a terrorist organisation (e.g. IS).

Several persons wanted on international arrest warrants could also be correctly identified after fingerprint matches. Numerous investigative successes were also recorded in the area of combating transnational organised trafficking in narcotic drugs.

The report notes that the United States of America has so far proven to be a reliable and treaty-abiding partner in the implementation of the agreement.

Austrian Parliament