Suva, Fiji, 07 October, 2021-The Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) and All Partners Access Network (APAN) Community recently held an APAN Train the Trainer (TtT) workshop to improve the usage of the information sharing tool by Intelligence Contact Point (ICP) members.
This followed the increase in the usage of the tool in the last 10 months, which led to the quick resolution in combating suspicious events at our borders.
A few of the regional enforcement operations had been managed through this tool.
The training was specifically aimed for OCO-ICP members who regularly used the OCO-APAN Community to share information amongst the membership and enforcement partners.
Following the basic training in late November 2020, Customs intelligence members have extended their capability in reaching out to their counterparts in the membership and the enforcement partners to share delicate and timely information on suspicious trade, travelers, and vessel movements.
This emanated the need for ICPs to take advanced training on APAN so that more features of the tool could be fully utilised to run operations and information sharing with efficiency and effectiveness.
Thirty-nine participants from the 14 member countries – American Samoa, Australia, CNMI, Cook Islands, Fiji, FSM, Guam, Palau, RMI, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Vanuatu registered for the workshop.
The training was held virtually on Adobe Connect, a tool to host conferencing and training on APAN. This was facilitated by the APAN Expert based in North Carolina, USA.
“The timely sharing of information culminates into a collaborative approach to combat organized crimes,” OCO Head of Secretariat, Richard Brennan said. “Working in silos has never helped any nation to dismantle transnational crimes. You can cut the tip of the syndicate but would not be able to uproot it completely.”
Therefore, OCO in partnership with Joint Inter Agency Task Force West (JIATF-W) organized this training on APAN, which is the OCO Members tool for information sharing. The ICPs capability of using the information sharing tool is an example of successful sharing of information. “Having confidence in a secure mode to share information is vital in the enforcement regime especially when you deal with combating transnational organized crimes Mr. Brennan said.”
Earlier this year in June, OCO hosted online workshop on Criminal Business Disruption. The workshop emphasised the need for collaborative approach in fighting against the transnational crime. This also emanated the need to share information with OCO counterparts and having a coercive relationship amongst the membership to protect the Blue Pacific. The APAN TtT workshop has been part of an effort to accomplish one of the recommendations of the CBD workshop as well as the Operation Command training held earlier.
For more information, queries, or interview requests, please email MediaOCO@ocosec.org
About OCO: OCO is a grouping of 23 customs administrations in the Pacific region. It facilitates regional cooperation, information sharing and capacity building of its members with the overall target of supporting economic growth and improved border security in the Pacific.