AFP combatting crime with Pacific partners

PTCN Team Leader Conference

Editor’s note: Images from the conference are available via Hightail.

The AFP joined partners from across the Pacific at the 20th anniversary of the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) Team Leaders Conference to bolster the fight against transnational crime across the region.

Established in 2002, the PTCN is a Pacific-led initiative that coordinates information sharing across the Pacific and provides proactive criminal intelligence and investigative assistance.

The three-day event provided attendees with the opportunity to address shared challenges and opportunities, and reaffirm their commitment to ensuring a stable, peaceful and prosperous region by combatting crime in the Pacific.

Delegates from 20 member countries attended the event hosted in Samoa, providing them with the opportunity to convene in-person, following three years of virtual conferences.

AFP Detective Superintendent Doug Witschi said the conference was an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties with law enforcement partners in the Pacific and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced across the region.

“Transnational organised crime groups continue to threaten the safety of our communities across the Pacific, however the AFP and the PTCN remain more committed than ever to tackling this issue,” Det-Supt Witschi said.

“This year’s theme of Reconnections and Reflections highlighted the importance of maintaining close and collaborative partnerships with our Pacific family to effectively target organised crime,”

The AFP has more than 100 personnel based in nine nations across the Pacific region, in addition to supporting a range of regional capability development programs.

Background regarding the PTCN:

Established in 2002, the PTCN is a Pacific-led initiative that provides proactive criminal intelligence and investigative capability to combat transnational crime in the Pacific. The PTCN uses a multi-agency and regional approach to target transnational crime, encompassing Police, Immigration, Customs and other law enforcement and border agencies.  The PTCN consists of 28 Transnational Crime Units (TCUs) based in 20 Pacific Island countries and the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC) in Samoa. The AFP has advisors to the PTCCC and to TCUs in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.  The PTCCC coordinates information-sharing across the Pacific, including real-time alerts on suspicious vessel movements, drug seizures and illicit financial flows.

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