On the 23rd-26th May 2022, three members of the Samoa Audit Office joined other members from the Financial Intelligence Unit, Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS), the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Customs and Revenue, Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) and the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC) in an online training, delivered by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML) and the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN).
The focus of the Financial and Money Laundering Investigations and Criminal Asset Confiscation Course was on enhancing skills in identifying and investigating financial crimes and to strengthen relationships and cooperation between agencies.
As PTCCC explained it, the APGML comprises 41 member jurisdictions (including Samoa), other international organisations and regional observers who combat serious financial crimes in the Asia-Pacific region through implementation of ‘Financial Action Task Force’s’. The objective of the APG is to ensure that member countries effectively implement international standards against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. The APG also invited the PTCCC to deliver presentations to money laundering courses conducted virtually across the Pacific.
It was an important training to address financial crime not only affecting Samoa but across the Pacific as transnational crime including money laundering as a borderless crime which highlights the importance of interagency and regional cooperation, as stated by the Acting SPPCS Commissioner Leiataua Samuelu Afamasaga.
On the last day of the four-day program, Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering Executive Secretary Dr Gordon Hook and Deputy Governor Operations of the Central Bank, Mr Gilbert Wongsin took part in the closing ceremony presenting certificates to the 20 participants completing the training.