5 Jun 2008

Transnational crime continued threat in Pacific

6:27 pm on 5 June 2008

The Pacific Islands Forum says transnational crime continues to be a human and economic threat in the Pacific and combating it remains a high priority for law enforcement agencies in the region.

The acting secretary general of the Forum, Peter Forau, says it is clear the region is targeted by individuals and groups involved in a range of transnational crime activities.

He has told the Forum's annual Regional Security Committee meeting in Suva that illicit narcotics including cocaine and heroin have been seized from Papua New Guinea and through major tourist centres such as Vanuatu and Fiji and across to French Polynesia.

Mr Forau says the Pacific Transnational Crime Assessment report highlights the range of criminal activities in the Pacific and notes that legislation and capacity remain the primary impediments to effective law enforcement.

Mr Forau, looking to the Pacific Plan, says its goals of economic growth, good governance and sustainable development cannot occur in an environment of political and security instability.