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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 1) - The Samoan government is
setting up a Transnational Crimes Unit to combat cross-border offences.

"Samoa finds itself in the midst of an increasingly
turbulent world and events occurring far from this region, and more, recently
closer to this region, require us to reevaluate and review the security of our
borders and thus the safety of our citizens and residents," said Prime
Minister Tuilaepa Sailele in a prepared statement.

The unit seeks to protect Samoa from crimes such as
people-smuggling, illegal migration, drug trafficking, money laundering,
computer and cyber crimes such as pornography, and sexual crimes against women
and children.

Sailele said the growth of transnational crime, aided by
developments in information technology, warrants the need for Samoa to develop
its capacity to respond quickly to any potential threat to national security.

Tuilaepa acknowledged the support of the Australian government
including the provision of a technical adviser to assist in the formation of the
unit, as well as upcoming training for unit members.

The unit will comprise officers from the ministries of Police,
Customs, and Inland Revenues, as well as the Attorney General’s Office, and
will liaise with similar agencies and other governments, both regionally and

May 2, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:

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