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22 May 2018

South Pacific INTERPOL training strengthens regional response to organized crime

NADI, Fiji ‒ Building the capacity of police across the South Pacific to tackle their drugs, financial, and counterfeit document crime challenges from a global perspective was the focus of INTERPOL training in Fiji.

Placing particular emphasis on INTERPOL drug capabilities and financial crime linked to the forestry sector, the course shared best practices for boosting regional investigations using INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network.

Examining regional drug crime through a global lens

With the methamphetamine trafficking threat on the increase in the region, officers learned how INTERPOL’s global network and police capabilities help them tackle specific South Pacific drug trafficking challenges.

Through a review of operational case studies and with training support from Brazilian Customs and Australian Federal Police experts, participants strengthened their ability to identify emerging smuggling routes, detect new concealment methods and dismantle the organized crime networks behind them.

Following the money

Because global economic and social systems suffer considerable financial loss from the financial offences inherently linked to most crime areas, training also focused on methods for systematically integrating financial investigations into South Pacific police cooperation.

Participants reviewed procedures for tracing money laundering paths globally, targeting the organized networks behind illegal logging operations in the South Pacific and methods for depriving them of their illicit proceeds.

Keeping criminals out of the Pacific

With criminals increasingly trying to use fake documents to cross borders, officers learned how INTERPOL’s global network helps them cooperate, investigate and in the long run, arrest fugitives and dismantle the organized crime networks behind South Pacific crime.

By examining new printing methods, latest document security features, recent document verification technologies and current examination techniques, the training event also enabled officers to develop the knowledge and skills needed to recognize the use of fraudulent and falsified security documents.

Tailored to South Pacific law enforcement

“INTERPOL’s global presence means that Pacific island police agencies no longer have such a daunting challenge in policing a vast and isolated geographical area alone, but instead have the operational police support of police forces in 192 member countries to tackle their crime challenges with them,” said Fiji’s Acting Police Chief Rusiate Tudravu in his opening comments.

“New technologies are being developed every day, and getting this valuable opportunity to learn from the experts to address emerging and often sophisticated crime is fundamental to our national and regional security,” added the Acting Police Chief.

More than 70 experts from seven countries – including new INTERPOL member country The Solomon Islands – attended the five-day (7-11 May) training session in Fiji’s third largest city Nadi.

Highlighting the commitment of participating countries to working in a coordinated fashion via INTERPOL's global network to disrupt trafficking routes and organized crime groups, INTERPOL Assistant Director for Criminal Networks Jose de Gracia commended the Fiji police authorities for doing their utmost to make the regional training event successful, constructive and safe.

“Thanks to the outstanding hospitality of Fiji National Police, South Pacific countries have examined their specific organized crime challenges from a global standpoint, permitting them to identify together the most effective ways of tackling them,” added INTERPOL’s Criminal Networks Assistant Director.

INTERPOL member countries which took part in the meeting included: Australia, Fiji, Timor Leste, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Funded by the INTERPOL Foundation and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the training course was jointly delivered by INTERPOL’s Criminal Networks unit as well as its Counterfeit and Security Documents unit, in collaboration with the Fiji National Police.