UAE: How an 89-year-old Chilean police organisation is assisting its citizens in the Emirates

The institution works with local law enforcement agencies and Interpol to combat illicit activities

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 10:36 PM

An 89-year-old Chilean police organisation is doing everything in its power to ensure its small pool of 300 citizens is well taken care of in the UAE, a top official told Khaleej Times.

Attached to the Embassy of Chile in Abu Dhabi, the Chilean Investigative Police (PDI) works with local law enforcement agencies and Interpol to combat illicit activities with international ties, revealed Richard Biernay Arriagada, police attaché, Embassy of Chile.

On the occasion of PDI’s 89th anniversary, Biernay spoke exclusively to Khaleej Times on its role in the UAE.

Biernay said a ceremony was held at the Embassy of Chile in Abu Dhabi as part of the anniversary celebrations. Charge d’Affaires Giovanni Cisternas Velis and all the consular section staff at the mission paid a brief tribute to the PDI for being one of the best-evaluated institutions in terms of trust and legitimacy.

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The Investigations Police of Chile is the civilian police of Chile. Founded in 1933, it is one of two Chilean police bodies, along with the law enforcement police: Carabineros de Chile. The PDI is the principal law enforcement arm of the Public Ministry of Chile in a criminal investigation.

The PDI works with the global law enforcement community on security, organised crime, human trafficking, large-scale economic crimes, and money laundering.

According to records maintained by the Chilean consular section in Abu Dhabi, there are about 300 Chileans who are currently living in the UAE. “A vast majority of them reside in Dubai, and a few are in Abu Dhabi,” said Biernay.

What is the exact role of the PDI in the UAE?

Biernay, a police officer with 26 years of service in the institution, is a Migration and International Police, specialist. He said the PDI oversees the confirmation of identities of Chileans and foreigners residing in Chile and collaborates with authorities on migratory matters related to background checks and the validity of residences.

It supports the mission by interviewing foreigners requesting tourist visas to travel to Chile. “PDI also collaborates in confirming the records of Chileans residing in the GCC countries by consulting the computer systems of the PDI, Interpol and other internal sources,” he added.

“We also support the identification of Chileans to obtain emergency documentation.

Do you help distressed people?

“Every time a Chilean citizen resident or tourist in the UAE has an emergency, they contact the Chilean mission in Abu Dhabi. The Consul determines how the consular section team or this Police Attaché we collaborate in helping our nationals,” Biernay.

PDI has several areas of investigations Cybercrime, Environmental Crimes, Human Rights and Crime officials, to name a few.

“The department has also resolved various issues faced by Chileans in the UAE,” he added.

PDI’s relationship with UAE

The PDI maintains communication with different authorities and other relevant organisations, such as personnel from the Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Police, the Ministry of the Interior and Interpol Abu Dhabi, and police attachés from other countries in UAE.

“Between March 14 and 17 this year, in Dubai, the PDI participated in the World Police Summit organised by Dubai Police. Chilean Investigative Police PDI, through director-general Sergio Muñoz Yáñez spoke as one of the speakers, addressing the issue of drug trafficking and the social role of the PDI in the fight against micro-trafficking through the PDI police model called “MT0” (em, you, zero or Micro traffic zero),” he added.

Between March 13 and 17, 2022, in Dubai, the PDI, through its SWAT team, participated in the UAE SWAT Challenge. Biernay said, “The PDI considers international cooperation essential to combat organised crime and emerging crimes. Chilean detectives are currently present in more than 18 countries through attaché offices and links."

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