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As the State Department’s primary point of contact with host nation law enforcement and security agencies, the regional security office works with foreign police and security counterparts to coordinate U.S. law enforcement initiatives, investigations, and training.

Assistant Regional Security Officer Investigators

Assistant regional security officer investigators (ARSO-Is) are DSS special agents who support DSS investigations at more than 100 locations around the globe.  They investigate passport and visa fraud, assist in investigating crimes against U.S. citizens, and train and collaborate with foreign nation law enforcement and immigration authorities.

Foreign Service National Investigators

Expert host-nation citizen investigators, known as foreign service national investigators (FSNIs), work with DSS special agents in the regional security office. FSNIs maintain strong relationships with host nation law enforcement organizations and help with fugitive apprehensions, counterterrorism, and transnational criminal cases.

Visa and Passport Fraud

Travel document fraud represents a serious and growing threat to the security of all nations. Criminals who fraudulently obtain U.S. visas and passports often use them to commit crimes such as terrorism, financial fraud, narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, and identity theft. Fugitives often seek to change their identities and travel internationally as part of their criminal activities.

Regional security office special agents conduct international document fraud investigations. Working with foreign law enforcement agencies, regional security offices investigate and coordinate hundreds of international visa and passport fraud cases each year. Cases include allegations of corruption by U.S. and locally-employed staff, fraudulent document vendors, bribery, human smuggling, and trafficking of U.S. visas.  [Read More]

Transnational Crimes

DSS has more than 2,000 special agents and hundreds of local criminal fraud investigators, investigative assistants, intelligence research specialists, forensic accountants, and other experts combatting crime around the world. Through this worldwide staff, DSS has established an extensive global network that includes international law enforcement officials, immigration officers, and affiliated agencies around the world, including Europol and Interpol.

DSS offers unique global investigative resources to U.S. law enforcement: a sustained, global presence with the expertise and access to combat transnational crimes that pose a threat to the United States.

These resources allow DSS to fulfill several of the initiatives outlined in the president’s Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking. The executive order calls on the law enforcement community to comprehensively combat transnational crime, including enhancing U.S. cooperation with foreign counterparts against transnational criminal organizations, dismantling those criminal groups within and beyond the United States, and pursuing and supporting efforts to prevent the operational success of those organizations.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future