2 May 2003

Samoa sets up crossborder crimes unit

3:44 pm on 2 May 2003

Samoa's attorney general, Brenda Heather-Latu, says the new Transnational Crimes Unit builds on existing crime fighting efforts.

The unit seeks to protect Samoa from crimes such as people-smuggling, illegal migration, drug trafficking, money laundering, computer and cyber crimes.

The prime minister's office says the growth of transnational crime, particularly terrorism, makes it necessary to tighten Samoa's border security.

Mrs Heather-Latu says a number of steps have already been taken.

"In terms of money laundering and also financial supervision to ensure that we are not seen as being a soft touch. So it's really a continuing effort that we've had since the passage of our anti-money laundering act in 2000 to just close off any gaps or opportunities which criminals or terrorists might believe they have."

Attorney General, Brenda Heather-Latu