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Officers focus on Investigating Financial Crimes and Criminal Assets Confiscation

APIA, SAMOA – 17 MAY 2023: Senior officers from key government agencies are involved in a four day course that aims to enhance skills in identifying and investigating financial crimes and to strengthen relationships and cooperation between agencies.

The program is in collabration with the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML) and the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) to deliver an “Investigating Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Criminal Asset Confiscation Course” in Samoa.

Attending are members from the Financial Intelligence Unit; Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS); the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet; the Ministry of Customs and Revenue; Audit Office; Transnational Crime Unit (TCU); Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC) and the Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON).

The APGML comprises 41 member jurisdictions (including Samoa), other international organisation and regional observers who combat serious financial crimes in the Asia-Pacific region through implementation of “Financial Action Task Forces”.

The objective of the APG is to ensure that member countries effectively implement international standards against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

group discussion
group discussion

Deputy Commissioner Lafaitele Herbert Aati leading opening the four day program.

The PTCN celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2022, and is a well-established and trusted network, operating on declarations of partnerships between law enforcement agencies (LEA) under the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police. The Apia based PTCCC plays a vital role in managing and coordinating criminal intelligence through cooperation and collaboration with the network of 28 TCUs in 20 countries.

Funding for this course is part of a wider financial training and support program to the Pacific by New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade facilitated by APGML.

The program was opened yesterday by the Deputy Commissioner for National Operations, Lafaitele Herbert Aati, who delivered the opening remarks on behalf of the Pacific Transnational Crime Network Chairman – Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo.

In his keynote address, DC Lafaitele conveyed the significance of this training to all law enforcers; reiterating the course brings participants a “comprehensive understanding of financial crimes, money laundering and its effects to society, as well as the importance of criminal asset confiscation as a deterrent to criminal activity.”

The Deputy Commissioner concluded by “encouraging the participants to take full advantage of the training, and actively participate in the discussions, to work together, to learn and strengthen their existing relationships and work on building new ones, so that all can lead to working together for a safer Samoa and Pacific.”