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15 September 2023, 3:53pm
Media Release

Enhancing partnerships with Pacific law enforcement agencies to combat transnational crime

Editor’s note: Images are available via Hightail.

Twenty countries from across the Pacific met this week at the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) Team Leaders Conference in Brisbane to discuss and learn the best ways to counter emerging threats facing the Pacific region.

The theme of this year’s conference was Enhancing partnerships to strike transnational crime in the Pacific, and included discussions on child exploitation, illicit drugs and illegal logging.

Also discussed were black flights and dark vessel detections, which are tactics used by criminal syndicates in the region to transport illicit goods in an attempt to evade law enforcement.

The conference brought together representatives from 20 Pacific countries representing the 28 Transnational Crime Units (TCUs), where members discussed key issues in their communities, and how they are addressing them.

TCUs share critical information and intelligence that drive the operations disrupting and dismantling the organised crime impacting Pacific communities. The AFP has advisors to TCUs in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as its own TCU in Canberra.

The week-long event provided representatives with the opportunity to engage in face-to-face talks, known as Talanoas, in a bid to share information and strengthen relationships with other PTCN members.

During the conference, members also reaffirmed their commitment to working together to ensure a safe and secure Pacific, guided by the principle of being By the Pacific, For the Pacific.

The PTCN is a Pacific-led initiative which provides proactive criminal intelligence and investigative capabilities to combat transnational crime in the Pacific.

The network uses a multi-agency and regional approach to target transnational crime, encompassing police, immigration, customs and other law enforcement agencies.

The PTCN was established in 2002, with Australia as a founding member and since then has continued to grow to 20 member countries throughout the Pacific, with 28 transnational crime units and two official partner organisations.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Simon Teece said the annual conference provided the opportunity to discuss transnational crime impacting the region and to learn from other PTCN members.

“Over the past week we have had the opportunity to hear from a range of TCU officers and PTCN stakeholders who shared unique insights on challenges facing their communities,” he said.

“The conference also allowed us to strengthen our ties with our Pacific policing partners, many of which date back several decades, and highlight opportunities to strengthen collaborative law enforcement efforts in the region.

“Information sharing is crucial in our united fight against transnational crime and the PTCN plays a critical role in enabling this to happen.

“The AFP is a proud foundation member of the PTCN and we remain dedicated to supporting its vision and goals in ensuring safety and security in the Pacific region.”

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