Suva, Fiji,08 June 2021- The OCO Head of Secretariat, Richard Brennan says the more knowledge OCO members have of organized crimes, the better they will be in catching criminals and disrupting transnational crimes.
“Criminals are very creative and we need to be up to date with trends and have the necessary resources to stop the infiltration of our borders with illicit drugs, contrabands and other banned materials,” says Mr. Brennan. “OCO works with partners to build the capacity of our members in this area and that is why we had the regional workshop on criminal business infiltration.”
The regional workshop is part of the annual capacity building activities conducted by OCO to create awareness and to better equip members with knowledge on the exploitations that are taking place by organized crime groups (OCGs) in the region, which disrupt legitimate businesses.
“It is critical that we strengthen coordination between border and law enforcement agencies to combat transnational organised crimes,” Mr. Brennan says. “Our Forum Leaders have already stated in the Boe Declaration and the action plan, their aggrieved agenda on the negative impact of transnational crimes in the region.
“The Boe Declaration has spelt out some of the demanding areas of interest that needs urgent attention and a practical resolution with a regionalism approach. Since the Pacific already has a priority set on security through the Biketawa Declaration and then the Boe Declaration, it provides an opportunity to bring the Pacific Customs Administrations and other border agencies with the regional and international partners to share information and build a network to work together in combatting transnational crimes.”
During the workshop, participants discussed challenges faced by our Pacific nations in disrupting organized crime groups and transnational criminal networks access into the region.
The regional workshop built participants’ knowledge and understanding of organised crime groups and criminal networks exploitations in our region and enhance their ability to identify irregularity in border controls and national security. It also aims to strengthen regional information sharing to improve efforts to disrupt and dismantle transnational crime networks.
The workshop is a collaboration with members and development partners- Australia Border Force (ABF), Australian Federal Police – TCU Fiji, Australia Pacific Security College (APSC), APG- Asia Pacific Group for Money Laundering, AUSTRAC- Australia Financial Intelligence arm, Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (F-FIU), Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC), Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN), Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC), Pacific Islands Chief of Police (PICP), Joint Interagency Task Force-West ( JIATF-W), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), PSI – Pharmaceutical Society International, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO-WCO), Transnational Crime Unit (TCU-Fiji).United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Smart, UNODC Fiji Office, US Homeland Security Investigation-HSI, US Department of Justice International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
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