Transnation Crime Banner

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is the most widely represented law enforcement agency in the world and is best positioned to combat transnational crime abroad.

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.

Passport Fraud

DSS investigates passport or visa fraud, identity theft, or document fraud that affects the Department of State or the integrity of U.S. travel documents.

Visa and passport fraud are often associated with other illegal activities such as document fraud, sex and labor trafficking, terrorism, and money laundering, and DSS has worked for decades with U.S. and foreign law enforcement and immigration counterparts to combat those crimes in the United States and other countries.

Assistant Regional Security Officer Investigators (ARSO-I)

ARSO-Is are on the front lines of the fight against transnational crime. The DSS special agents support DSS investigations at more than 100 locations around the globe by investigating passport and visa fraud; helping investigate crimes against U.S. citizens; and training and collaborating with foreign nation law enforcement and immigration counterparts.

Their criminal cases involving U.S. and foreign passports, visas, and other travel documents and often lead to multi-agency transnational investigations. DSS investigations have stopped transnational criminal networks and organizations operating in California, New York, Florida, Minneapolis, Washington, Texas, and elsewhere in the United States, and have led to convictions of sex and labor traffickers, document fraud vendors, money launderers, and more.

DSS Podcast

AfterAction GenericThumbnail 1×1

Learn more about our involvement in a transnational criminal investigation in our podcast After Action, True Stories of the Diplomatic Security Service. In our first episode, Special Agent Kala discusses how she investigated a photographer in Costa Rica who used his legitimate business to sexually exploit children as young as eight years old. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future