POLICE Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua said the complexities of money laundering and its association with drug and human trafficking that were prevalent in the country were of serious concern.
Speaking to police officers attending a Proceeds of Crime: Follow the Money Workshop in Nadi yesterday, he expressed his concern about limitations within the Fiji Police Force in this area.
"Lack of knowledge in money laundering is of particular concern to me," Brig-Gen Naivalurua said.
"Therefore, it is important for us to understand the process involved in making applications for restraining or forfeiting of assets in making civil forfeiture applications to the high court and to understand that money laundering can undermine economic stability because it means criminals are using legitimate financial institutions to clean their illegal funds," he said in his opening address.
The Police Commissioner also said traditional approaches to crime had to be reviewed and new approaches adopted by the force.
"The conventional approach to crime in the past has always been to focus only on crime and punishment. The idea of removing financial gain from criminals and enforcing the idea through the courts is a new one which the Fiji Police Force is yet to understand and implement hence the need for this workshop today.
"The aim is to deprive criminals of their profits gained through criminal activity and to also remove their motivation to commit further crimes. This is very important," Brig-Gen Naivalurua said.
He said the link between money laundering and other crimes such as tax evasion, human trafficking and corruption had been statistically proven.