Police Commissioner David Manning and Chief Commissioner for Customs, David Towe signed the MoU yesterday at the Police Operations Center; something that both agreed was the culmination of months of work from both parties.
According to Manning, this arrangement will not only allow the sharing of hard assets, but also human resources that will assist the police to be innovative and will strengthen its relationship with the customs service to help fight trans-national crimes.
Manning also made reference to the cocaine bust last year, where an organised crime syndicate attempted to smuggle more than 500 kilograms of cocaine into Australia on a small plane that crashed while trying to take off just out of Port Moresby. He said this caused both parties to speed up action on this MoU.
“There are other cases in courts where the police has had issues with organizations not only understanding each other’s roles, but also in terms of integrating and identifying respective legislations that they currently operate in,” Manning explained.
He further said, “The cocaine case in itself has pretty much caused us to speed up action on this MoU but also has allowed us to assess how we can be of assistance to each other. We have had discussions that are still on – going and there is an offer there to provide technical assistance and as far as our prosecutions are concerned, we are more than happy for them to have a sit down with some of our prosecutors to assist them in prosecuting cases under customs.”
“The laws are there, but for our operations the information and how to do things is best captured in the MoU,” added Manning.
Echoing what the police Commissioner said, Chief Commissioner Towe said the MoU will also allow them to operate jointly in any instance that requires the involvement of both police and customs.
“When we have the police force and customs service operating together, we will see the benefits to our country. The police and Customs have a common enemy, if we work together, we ca fight this enemy. Most times, agencies work in silo and waste much needed resources,” said Towe.
“We have some programs that are currently pending, like we plan to do detector dog program up at Bomana and we have been waiting on this MoU so we can pull our resources together to get the initiative up ad running. This is an initiative that will help us in our operations. We also have some programs along the sea border, where if we can pull our resources together and fund those operations. This MoU gives us that operating environment and understanding which allows us to share resources,” he added.