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New Zealand to help strengthen Fiji customs to fight cross-border crime

Xinhua, March 27, 2017 Adjust font size:

The New Zealand Customs Service is to help strengthen Fiji's border agency as part of a program targeting trans-national crime in the Pacific.

New Zealand Customs would provide support and training for the transformation of Fiji's Revenue and Customs Authority through an aid program costing almost 1 million New Zealand dollars (705,300 U.S. dollars), Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said Monday.

"The plan will improve border security by supporting organizational and staff development, regulatory and policy reform as well as stakeholder engagement," Wagner said in a statement.

"Pacific countries can be targets for trans-national crime, including drug smuggling, money laundering and being used as a transshipment point, so any effort to improve border controls makes the wider region safer."

The plan is to be built on other projects with Fiji in recent years, including the introduction of detector dogs and leadership training.

The New Zealand government aid will also fund border capacity building in Samoa and the Cook Islands. (1 New Zealand dollar = 0.71 U.S. dollar) Endit