November 20, 2020– Nineteen customs officers and five other law enforcement officers from 13 Pacific Island countries, consisting of six females and eighteen males recently completed the basic All Partners Access Network (APAN) training- A Starter Pack for OCO Intelligence Contact Points, aimed to assist the countries in their gathering and sharing of information on security matters.
APAN is a communication tool, which provides a secured medium for exchange of information
“Customs intelligence is a delicate piece of information that requires great security in its dissemination to the right destination,” OCO Operations Manager and trainer in this workshop, Mrs. Irma Daphney Stone said.
“Currently, our members are using public software such as Yahoo and Gmail to share confidential information. “APAN is a powerful information sharing tool which is used widely by law enforcement agencies. With the closure of borders, communication via the internet is critical more than ever. Customs officers can adapt to share information through this mode to strengthen their capability.”
Mrs. Stone was assisted by OCO Customs Enforcement Adviser, Mr. Mohammed Ajaz and the former OCO TA for APAN Mr. Kelemedi Gukirewa.
Officers from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Center were part of the training, which was delivered over a series of three one-hour webinars.
“I have always heard about APAN but did not realize its potential and capabilities. After the training, I believe that taking the initiative for a more “hands on” approach will greatly assist in improving my knowledge of the APAN system. Thank you for the opportunity,” Ms. Laisa Naulumatua of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services said.
OCO intends to encourage more usage of APAN, to facilitate wider exchange of intelligence information between members as well as enhance their capacity to stop criminals.
The Secretariat plans to hold an advanced level training next year with the assistance of JIATF-W APAN -Hawaii.