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    Monday, December 18, 2017-11:32:29P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Regional News

Illicit drug trade increasing: Oceania Customs Organization

SUVA (FBC News/Pacnews) — The Oceania Customs Organization has reported that the illicit drug trade in the Pacific is increasing and has led to more people manufacturing or cultivating drugs locally.

Head Secretariat, Seve Paeniu, said suspects are also using clever methods to import and export drugs in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are seeing a trend now, where it is not only a case of consumption locally but local production for exportation. While we try to put in place systems and actions to address these criminal activities coming through the borders, we are also seeing an increase in sophistication of the techniques employed by the drug traffickers. They always come up with advanced ways and means to try and beat the system.”

OCO has recorded an increase in locally manufactured drugs that are either being exported or transitioned through the Asia-Pacific border.

Paeniu said methamphetamine is the most often seen illegal drug in the region as its value and demand are high in the market.

“We’re seeing some evidence of local production, so not only local consumption but local production to market not only nationally but across the borders. We are continuing to conduct training on investigation techniques and interrogation for our customs officials to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills.”

OCO said the region is often used as a channel for transferring illegal drugs and they will be looking at providing more security to ensure islands in the Pacific are protected.