DSS special agents serving as assistant regional security officer-investigators (ARSO-Is) are at the frontline of conducting transnational investigations and collaborative training with DSS international and foreign partners. These law enforcement officers work to protect U.S. national and border security before threats reach U.S. shores.
As it does each year, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) punched above its weight in 2019 especially in the areas of overseas investigations and training.
Here is a snapshot of one of their cases in 2019:
The ARSO-I team at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India, works with its partners in the region to combat misuse of U.S. and European travel documents used by human smuggling networks, sex traffickers, fraudulent document vendors and other criminals. In 2019, ARSO-I Mumbai and the embassy’s Fraud Prevention Unit uncovered two major visa fraud schemes, both of which exploited the integrity of the U.S. visa system and allowed individuals to illegally travel to and within the United States and Canada. To combat this fraud, ARSO-I Mumbai partnered with liaisons at the German, Canadian and United Kingdom consulates to train about 250 employees working for international airlines, airline contractors and at the Mumbai airport on how to spot fraudulent documents. The ARSO-I team also trained participants on how to detect imposters and those who may be victims of or committing human trafficking or smuggling. The training was so successful that the ARSO-I team and its partners received numerous requests from other airlines and companies to train its employees to help combat transnational crimes. The liaison efforts and training opportunities led by the ARSO-I team in Mumbai is increasing U.S. border security by stopping fraudulent visa vendors, human smugglers, sex traffickers and others who attempt to exploit the U.S. visa system.