HARS - High value information Alert and Reporting System
Wanted by InterPol?
The following story is a true, real-life, first-person account of a person getting caught up in the world of internationally wanted persons. There are lessons to be learned from this account and VitaStar Solutions is grateful to the person who gave us this story and allowed us to share it with others on our website.
I was groggy and really wanted to turn off my thinking and get some sleep when without warning my adrenaline generator violently engaged and I was not sleepy anymore – a gross understatement.
After more than 24 hours of flying and several plane changes, my wife and I landed at the New Delhi International Airport in India. Whew, it would not be much longer and we would be in a hotel where we could recharge, recover, and get some much needed sleep. After exiting the airplane, we quickly found ourselves in-line, waiting to go through immigration. We talked while waiting and I expressed my concern about the security of our luggage, which contained a lot of presents for some her relatives we were going to visit. We were concerned that someone might grab one of our bags and leave the baggage claim area before we got there to take possession of them.
My logical plan was for my wife to go through Immigration Services quickly and then go to baggage claim to locate and guard our luggage. I would go through Immigration Services next and if there was any delay I would join her as quickly as possible. Simple plan. She processed through Immigration Services quickly and then darted off toward baggage claim. I stepped up to Immigration Services and handed the Agent my passport and my completed form. The Agent fiddled around and then left, leaving me, rather impatient, to join my wife. The Agent returned with another person and I was instructed to follow them. Huh? What was this? I obediently complied and was shown into a nearby room, which I was instructed to enter. Then without any explanation, they told me to wait -- what else could I do? Click! The door was locked and I was alone.
I waited and wondered. They hadn’t told me anything and I became quite concerned, especially since I could not contact my wife. Meanwhile, she had found our bags but was now missing a husband. Her agitation turned to apprehension and then fright as time slowly passed. She inquired and was told I had been “detained” and that she had to wait. Wait? Wait for what and why? After about two hours, the door to my “prison cell” opened and I was handed by passport and told I could leave. I asked the “guard” why I had been “incarcerated” and he told me they thought I might be an international war criminal because of my name and they had to confirm who I was with Interpol. The reality was my name was similar to a war criminal’s name and even though he was about 30 years older than me, they still had to check.
Wow, my wife’s hug sure felt good. We made it to the hotel without further incident and I discovered I had some difficultly falling asleep. After my adrenaline and stress calmed down I embraced sleep with new found appreciation.
This event illustrates problems and frustrations with authorities either not having the proper information on wanted persons, or not being able to quickly get the needed information.
It also brings to mind that international transportation terminals, such as international airports are locations where international criminals and terrorists are likely to transit as they travel between countries.
In an international implementation, HARS can solve the identification problem by the quick access to information on international criminals and suspected terrorists, by allowing authorized persons to query the HARS database and get the profile of the person of interest, including photographs. Queries can be by name, which would have helped avoid the problem in this story, or the queries can be made using only some of the known parameters of the person of interest.
Every immigration agent counter can have a display monitor or terminal which can be used to automatically display a HARS Playlist of wanted international criminals that have a higher probability of passing through that specific transportation terminal. The same display terminal can also be used to submit specific queries.
The greatest power of HARS is to have display monitors in the terminal area, which can be viewed by the general public. This includes not only the passenger waiting areas but the areas open to the non-flying public who are dropping off or picking up passengers. The HARS Playlists are fine-tuning and tailored for each specific international transportation terminal, thus increasing the probability of getting a public identification on a person of special interest. If the public identifies a match, they can either: use their mobile phone to contact the HARS Call Center, where they would reach operators using the language of that country; use one of the special standalone telephones located in the terminal; or, use text messaging or one of the social networks to contact HARS. In turn, HARS would immediately notify the proper authorities for apprehension or further investigation.