MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 3) - Fiji Customs service now has a marine capability thanks to the delivery of a high-powered catamaran speed boat from Australia.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs Service, Lionel Woodward, has handed over the vessel to his Fijian counterpart in Suva.

The customs boat, named Ai Matai, is worth about A$160,000 (US$109,000).

It can travel at speeds of up to 47 knots and operate up to 30 nautical miles offshore.

In handing over the boat, the Australian Customs Chief Executive Officer, Lionel Woodward, also signed a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian and Fiji Customs services.

He says Australian Customs are very grateful to its Fijian colleagues for their assistance in a number of key border security operations.

Mr Woodward says sharing information and intelligence is the only way to effectively combat what he calls the growing threats of terrorism and trans-national crime in the region.

October 3, 2003

Radio Australia:


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