New Zealand Partners with Fiji to Target Illicit Trade
Fiji’s border protection will be further enhanced with the introduction of new trace detection device at our international borders provided by the New Zealand Government.
A short ceremony was held at the FRCS Office in Nadi to acknowledge this assistance from the New Zealand Government. New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr. Jonathan Curr and his team attended the ceremony virtually, while the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) Deputy Board Chair Mr. Mahmood Khan, Board Member Ms. Lala Sowane and Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen were at the FRCS Office.
While acknowledging the valuable support from the New Zealand Government, Mr. Khan stated that the assistance was a timely boost for Fiji’s border security system as Fiji prepared for re-opening of its international borders.
Mr. Khan further added that trace detection screening was increasingly common in international airports worldwide and with the introduction of this in Fiji, FRCS was further enhancing its ability to manage potential risks of illicit goods being brought into the country.
The trace detection device will support FRCS to conduct risk assessment of cargo and passengers more effectively and will enable the Customs Officers to mitigate and identify illicit material on high risk cargo and passenger for intervention at the entry and exit points. Furthermore, it will help deter drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and ensure facilitation of legitimate trade.
The units, worth NZD$30,000 with additional consumable kits worth approximately NZD$3,000, was coordinated through the New Zealand High Commission in Fiji alongside New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) and Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ)and New Zealand Aviation Security Service.
“NZ Customs is pleased that we were able to support a key partner in keeping Fiji and the Pacific region safe. New Zealand has strong historic links to the region and by contributing to the protection of Fiji’s borders, we remain connected with our Pacific neighbours. The region is important to us and we look forward to continuing our close relationship in the future,” Michael Blades, Director International at New Zealand Customs Service said.
Fiji Airways also welcomed the provision of four ETD units for use at the airline’s various facilities. Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen said: “This support from CAA-NZ and AVSEC NZ is extremely timely, given the reopening of Fiji’s borders for tourism on 1st December and the anticipated influx of people travelling to and out of Fiji. Enhanced regional aviation security is everyone’s business and in everyone’s interest, and Fiji Airways is delighted to be a part of this commitment.”
Through this assistance, New Zealand and Fiji’s international law enforcement cooperation and Customs to Customs partnership and Coordinated Border Management has been further strengthened.
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