Law enforcement agency officers from across the Pacific converged on the Taumeasina Island Resort on Sunday 23, October to attend the annual Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) Team Leaders Conference which officially opened yesterday.
It is a very special occasion as not only is it the first in-person conference for the network since 2019, it is also the network’s 20th anniversary, having been established in 2002.
The current Chair of the PTCN is the Commissioner of Police, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo; with the theme of the conference “Reconnections and Reflections” highlighting the importance of re-establishing network relationships but also looking back at the humble beginnings of the network to plan the way forward.
The network’s motto of working together as one for a safer Pacific; will no doubt also be a guiding principle with members discussing a variety of topics including ways to combat the issue of transnational organised crime which continues to threaten the region.
As part of the program, conference attendees will experience Samoa’s legendary hospitality through a Samoan Tourism Authority Cultural Village experience and if weather permits, participation in the Samoan flag-raising morning march.
Samoa enjoys a special place in the network as the host to the network’s hub, the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC), located in the Fale Samoa atop the FMFMII Government Building in Apia since 2008.
While the PTCCC used to host secondees from different Pacific nations, this was put on hold due to the COVID pandemic. Thankfully, with border restrictions mostly a thing of the past, the PTCCC will resume secondments in the near future with officers from Nauru among the first to be welcomed back.
Secondees to the PTCCC are afforded great career development opportunities and past secondees to the PTCCC, both from Samoan agencies as well as those from other Pacific nations, have gone on to achieve great things on return to their home agencies.
The Team Leader of the PTCCC, Mr Mose Sioeli relates the development opportunities he has had since performing the roles.
“I have been fortunate to learn more not just from a national perspective but on what is impacting the safety and security of Samoa from a regional perspective. This is an invaluable insight for my current role as team leader at the PTCCC but will be of great value for me when I resume my role as Senior Immigration Officer with the MPMC.”
Mr Sioeli has recently represented the PTCN at regional forum meeting with the Pacific Islands Forum, the inaugural Pacific Regional Conference on Law Enforcement and the Pacific Immigration Development community annual meeting.
The conference was officially by Minister of Police and Prisons, Faualo Lefau Harry Schuster and will run for three days.