28 Apr 2008

Regional customs and law enforcement officials meet in Majuro

5:23 pm on 28 April 2008

Regional Customs and law enforcement officials are in Majuro attending a week-long 10th annual conference of the Oceania Customs Organisation focusing on cross-agency cooperation.

The Fiji-based head of the OCO, Robert Taylor, says the presence for the first time at the conference of officials from Japan and China, reflects the increasing importance of Oceania to larger nations of Asia and key law enforcement groups.

Customs chiefs from OCO's 23-member nations in the Pacific have also been joined by officials from the US Coast Guard, Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, US intelligence agencies and Pacific immigration agencies.

Mr Taylor says that combating money laundering and specifically controlling the movement of currency in and out of the Pacific is a key issue for discussion and action at the meeting.

An agreement is to be signed later this week between OCO and the World Customs Organisation to help bring national customs systems and practices into line with international practices.