RealNews

South Pacific tries to tackle organized crime, drugs, terror

The way drug dealers have recently set up operations in Pacific island nations shows how the region can become a weak link in the global fight against international crime and terror, a regional leader warned yesterday. Recent drug hauls in Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands have shown the extent of the peril facing the region’s governments, said Secretary-General Greg Urwin of the Pacific Islands Forum. Pacific governments must take urgent steps to avoid becoming “something of a weak link” in the fight against transnational crime, Urwin told a regional meeting of law enforcement agencies in the Fiji capital, Suva. Britain’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Charles Mochan, also cited alleged gang-related slayings in Fiji and possible money laundering reported by the Reserve Bank of Fiji as showing that organized crime was seeping into the South Pacific. Criminal gangs and terror networks can rapidly adapt to the opportunities that globalization has provided in a region once regarded as isolated, Urwin said. Full Story

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