11 Nov 2005

US funding boost to fight money laundering in Pacific

4:51 pm on 11 November 2005

The United States has given 1.5 million US dollars to help fight money laundering and terrorism financing in Pacific island countries.

The US ambassador in Fiji, Larry Dinger, has channelled the money through the Forum Secretariat.

The Pacific Islands Anti Money Laundering Programme will place experts in the region to help Pacific island countries develop international standard legislation to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The experts will also train financial investigators, prosecutors and members of the judiciary to implement legislation to recognise and stop such crimes.

The money laundering network will help island countries share vital financial information, making it harder for terrorists to fund their operations.

Meanwhile, Mr Dinger says Muslim communities in the Pacific will not be discriminated against by anti-terror laws soon to be adopted by Fiji and other island countries.

Mr Dinger says the anti terror laws would not be specifically aimed at any religious organisation and would not be anti-Muslim.

He says the laws are designed to protect the global community from terrorism.