17 Jun 2004

Pacific Forum secretary general says Pacific vulnerable to terrorism

2:22 pm on 17 June 2004

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, has told the Forum Regional Security Committee meeting in Nadi this week that transnational organised crime in the region is evolving to meet new needs and activities.

He says these organised crime groups are flexible and in pursuit of a market, involving a variety of commodities such as drugs, people, weapons, or for the purpose of money laundering, fraudulent schemes, identity fraud or terrorist related activities, and they have the capability to diversify.

Mr Urwin told the delegates that after last week's huge drugs bust in Fiji, there can be little doubt the region is being targeted for criminal activities.

He says the vulnerability of the Pacific to transnational organised crime means that it is also vulnerable to terrorist activities, because it's clear that these crime networks can also maintain and fund terrorist activities.

"IN: It's more a matter of the potential. We take the view, without trying to be too simplistic about it, that if you do have the pre-conditions for the operation of transnational crime, then you're a long way towards the pre-conditions for terrorism."

Greg Urwin