The Man From Interpol

Ron Noble Tells Steve Kroft Agency Is Under-Funded

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The smallest clues can lead Moran to a location. In one case, a yellow band on a can of Pringles potato chips linked the abuse to England and Ireland, where it was sold only briefly.

"We look at wall, clothes, we look at keyboards. We look at cans of Coca-Cola in the back," Moran explains. "What's the language on the can of Coca-Cola?"

When police in Canada confiscated horrific images of infants being sexually abused, they had no idea where the crime had actually taken place, so they sent the pictures to Moran at Interpol. One of his colleagues noticed that a computer keyboard in one picture had Spanish punctuation marks, so they forwarded the pictures to Madrid, where another officer noticed some printing on a towel. That helped break the case.

"What does it mean to me? It means very little to me. But to a police officer from the north of Madrid, when he sees that, he sees immediately, 'La Paz Hospital.' And he knows that this towel is from the La Paz Hospital. So there's a good clue as well," Moran says.

Spanish authorities eventually broke up the pedophile ring, which was operating out of a childcare center and they rescued 15 children, ranging in age from 6 to 14 months.

"You leave your child in the care of somebody, and you feel that, you hope that they're going to be cared for," Moran says. "But, in this case they weren't. In this case were preyed upon by sex abusing criminals."

Another case presented a different challenge: pedophiles sometimes hide their identity by digitally distorting their face, like a man who posted pictures of himself having sex with young boys in Southeast Asia. Moran worked with a German colleague, who devised a program to reverse the process, which he showed 60 Minutes for the first time.

"He simply swirled the picture. And what our colleague in Germany did was, he simply swirled back. And the result, you will agree, is fantastic," Moran says.

A few days ago, Moran posted the "un-swirled" photos on the Interpol Web site. "Somebody in the world knows that guy. Somebody in the world'll be able to say, 'That's my brother, friend, cousin, work colleague,'" Moran says.

Walk into any office at Interpol and you might find a German tracking stolen art, an American unraveling a new drug route through West Africa, or a French woman investigating a counterfeit malaria drug.

Aline Lecadre spent months working with the World Health Organization trying to find the origin of deadly pills that were flooding the market in Vietnam and Laos.

How serious a problem are counterfeit malarial drugs?

"I mean, the southeast Mekong area where we worked, 44 percent of the counterfeit of the products that were sold were counterfeited. I mean, 44 percent, everything was fake," Lecadre explains. "And nobody at the international level has done anything to fight against that crime."

The lab at Interpol analyzed the pills and found animal hair and pollen specific to a certain region in China. The Chinese government shut down the plant and arrested the people running it.

Interpol's command center is a clearinghouse for international crime and maintains the world's largest database of known terrorists -- 11,000 names.

Australian Chris Eaton says Interpol not only receives daily reports on significant worldwide events, they also monitor the jihadist Web sites.

"You know more about what's going on in the world crime-wise than any other place?" Kroft asks.

"Well, I'd think so. I mean with 187 countries telling us what's happening, I don't think there's too many organizations with that sort of spread," Eaton says.

One report Eaton received included a drug seizure in Columbia, a terrorist attack in Nigeria, and a report of a bunch of people getting arrested for traveling on stolen passports.

Eaton says stolen passports are at the moment a big deal.

Interpol has the world's only database on lost or stolen passports and travel documents. There are more than 15 million of them and every week 3,000 people try to use one to enter a country illegally.

"Every significant international terrorist attack that's occurred has been linked in some way with either a fraudulent passport, an authentic passport that's been modified or with a counterfeit passport," Noble explains. "So by catching the people with stolen passports, you get yourself closer to catching terrorists."

The system has been operational for more than two years, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is just now beginning to phase it in at some border locations. Noble says it's just one sign of U.S. reluctance to cooperate with international organizations, when it comes to terrorism.