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Strategy to tackle transnational organised crime

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Police has released an all of Government strategy to tackle transnational organised crime.

“The goal of the strategy is to make New Zealand the hardest place in the world for organised criminal groups and networks to do business,” says Serious and Organised Crime Acting Assistant Commissioner: Investigations Mike Johnson.

Transnational crime operates across national borders and includes crime carried out in one country but with strong links to other countries.

The strategy released aims to address illicit drug crime, and other crime types currently affecting New Zealand including: migrant exploitation; fraud; tax evasion; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; and trafficking of protected flora and fauna.

“Organised and transnational crime is a corrupting influence worldwide, undermining community wellbeing, economic development, and national security,” says Johnson.

“The range of crimes highlights the need for a joined up approach.”

The strategy involves a range of agencies such as New Zealand’s border protection agencies and the Government Communications Security Bureau - GCSB.

“Transnational organised crime is one of New Zealand’s National Security and Intelligence Priorities, and the GCSB is increasingly focused on using its advanced technical capabilities in support of this priority,” says GCSB Director-General Andrew Hampton.

“I welcome the strategy, which will help ensure the GCSB works effectively with our partner agencies to stop organised criminal groups targeting New Zealand and prevent the harm this causes in our communities.”

New Zealand Customs Group Manager Intelligence, Investigations & Enforcement, Dana McDonald, has also welcomed the release of the strategy and highlights that an international focus remains absolutely crucial to the disruption of transnational organised crime.

“Transnational organised crime does not stop and start at one border, law enforcement agencies are often targeting the same criminal syndicates.

We are committed to continuing to work closely with our domestic partner agencies and with our international networks to identify, target and dismantle transnational networks closer to the source to maximise the impact.”

“Our main objective here is to keep the risk offshore, and prevent harm from reaching and materialising in New Zealand,” says McDonald.

"The strategy will help deepen existing partnerships with organisations that are combatting organised crime, improve outreach to partners in New Zealand including the private sector, not-for-profit organisations, academic institutions, local communities and the general public.

"Together playing a part in responding to the risks and threats posed by transnational organised crime."

While the strategy is focused on system resilience, agencies are also working to build community resilience to the harms associated with organised crime.

"This includes partnering with iwi and local providers in some of our most vulnerable communities to develop responses to the social and economic harms and drivers of organised crime," says McDonald.

The Transnational Organised in New Zealand strategy is available on the Police website: https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/transnational-organised-crime-new-zealand-our-strategy-2020-2025

Police has led the development of the strategy and an action plan with the support of partner agencies, including Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai, Department of Corrections - Ara Poutama Aotearoa, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Government Communications Security Bureau, Inland Revenue, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport, National Maritime Coordination Centre, New Zealand Customs Service, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, and Serious Fraud Office.

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