Crime activity ‘expanding’ in the Pacific

Participants at the Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Conference at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau, Nadi this week. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Pacific remains exposed to a range of transnational crime activity and the footprint of organised crime activity is expanding, says Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) acting chairwoman Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti.

She said this was highlighted in the PTCN assessment and key findings carried out in 2012.

The Samoa Police Force deputy commissioner said other challenges highlighted in the study continued to affect the Pacific.

“The movement of drugs facilitated by organised criminal groups that transits through the Pacific is assessed to be one of the greatest transnational crime risks facing the regions, despite limited reporting,” she said.

“Drug smuggling via air and sea continues to be observed and concealment methods have been refined and are becoming increasingly complex.

“The impact of criminal returnees in the Pacific continues to be felt, and the reintegration initiatives are limited through the region. The majority of criminal returnees arriving back have little or no family support network in country.”

She also said the ability for criminals to move undetected throughout the Pacific because of lack of reporting mechanism and information sharing remained a concern.

She said the PICP had been working on addressing these issues for the past 10 years.

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