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DPS Commish attending Pacific Transnational Crime Network Conference in Hawai’i

Samoa Police Commissioner, Egon Keil, and DPS Commissioner, Le’i Sonny Thompson during last year’s PTCN conference in American Samoa.  [photo: AF]
… a first for American Samoa

DPS Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson is attending the Pacific Transnational Crime Network Conference (PTCN) in Honolulu this week, representing the American Samoa Department of Public Safety at the annual event.

The workshop provides an important opportunity for PTCN team leaders to collectively discuss and develop strategies to address transitional crime priorities in the Pacific region, and for leaders to enhance their professional networks, which promotes greater cooperation between the region's Transnational Crime Units (TCUs), the PTCCC, and other key law enforcement stakeholders involved in combating transnational crime in the Pacific.

In a letter to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Le’i said American Samoa’s participation is fully funded by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and this includes airfare, a daily allowance, and all conference costs.

On March 27, 2017, the American Samoa DPS served as host to the PTNC Conference, composed of the US Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies from Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Australia, and the Solomon Islands.

The conference focused on each agency's role as collectors of intelligence, gathering information, which in turn creates an opportunity to build relationships and collaboration.

The Commissioner thanks Lolo and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Mauga for making this long overdue affiliation and association with the island nations of the Pacific a reality.

The Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) comprises more than 25 Pacific Island Law Enforcement entities. 

And, this is the first time American Samoa has become a part of this vital and much necessary team of experts in law enforcement. Their mission is to share information across the Pacific to combat the influx of illicit drugs, prostitution, money laundering, and other crimes from entering our shores.

Commissioner Egon Keil of Samoa is the current chair of the Network, and the Australian Government funded the conference in full. 

Also attending the conference are federal agents from Homeland Security; Drug Enforcement Agency; Coast Guard; and members of the Joint Interagency Task Force West; all working together to prevent and disrupt illegal activities in the Pacific. 

As part of this effort, DPS can expect numerous training and federal interventions and assistance in the effort to combat drugs within the next month, and going forward.