Aug 18, 2018 Last Updated 11:38 PM, Aug 13, 2018

The Big Threat

  • Mar 07, 2018
  • By  Netani Rika
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Hells Angels bikies leave after the funeral for Melbourne crime figure Macchour Chaouk at Preston Mosque on August 16, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. 61-year old Chaouk was gunned down in the backyard of his Melbourne home. MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Hells Angels bikies leave after the funeral for Melbourne crime figure Macchour Chaouk at Preston Mosque on August 16, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. 61-year old Chaouk was gunned down in the backyard of his Melbourne home. Photo: News Central
Published in 2018 March
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Organised crime creeps into the region

A NEW crime wave looms over the region – this time on the back of motorbikes. As Australia and New Zealand crack down on the illicit trading activities of Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs, these criminal groups have sought new targets and found them in the world’s soft underbelly.

With porous maritime borders which stretch for miles and few assets to patrol the sea, the Pacific is wide open for illegal business. Law enforcement agencies have battle for years will illegal transnational activities at sea, says Oceania Customs Organisation Chief Executive Officer, Seve Paeniu.

“We have maritime issues not only with illegal fishing but transfer on the high sea (of fuel and other supplies), all those illicit activities through the waters (open seas),” Paeniu said. In the early 1990s police uncovered the transfer of contraband cigarettes to Chinese fishing ships on the high seas for transportation to Fiji for sale.

Unable to hit the offending vessels at sea, police used tax evasion laws to crackdown on shops and market stalls selling the cigarettes. With its porous borders, need for foreign investment and weak law enforcement agencies, the Pacific fits the profile for transnational criminals dealing with drugs, arms smuggling, human trafficking and money laundering.

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