Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesian Transnational Crime Unit Commence Operation in FSM

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Service): April 29, 2008 - A high level ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new facility that would house the Micronesian International Crime Unit (MTCU) was held at the National complex in Palikir, Pohnpei on April 23, 2008. That in particular, signifies the official opening of the MTCU.

The high level officials who were at the ceremony include; Australian Ambassador to the FSM H.E. Susan Cox, Unites States Ambassador to the FSM H. E. Miriam K. Hughes, Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft from the United States Joint Interagency task Force West, Commander Paul Osborne from the Australian Federal Police, FSM Secretary of Justice Hon. Maketo Robert, FSM foreign Affairs Secretary Hon. Lorin Robert, Pohnpei State Lt. Governor Hon. Churchill Edward and their capable staff.

The welcoming remark from Lt. Governor Edward acknowledged the presence of all, and assured full cooperation from the Pohnpei State Government to the MTCU. According to Lt. Governor Edward, Pohnpei is more concern about the illegal fishing activities within the EEZ and would like MTCU to assist in the crackdown of this threat to our precious natural resource.

Both Rear Admiral Zunkunft and Commander Osborne presented remarks emphasizing the importance of the Unit and guaranteed their support and commitment to this project.

The establishment of the MTCU is made possible by the cooperation between the FSM National Police, Australian Federal Police, the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force West (Honolulu) and the Micronesian Police Commissioners.

This establishment acknowledges the degree of concern held by regional law enforcement agencies of the increasing level of transnational crime activities in the Micronesian region.

It also provides a critical link not only in the Pacific Transnational Crime Network, but also to the transnational crime interventions of the Australian Federal Police and the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force West in Asia, specifically in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

The Unit is based in Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Similar units have been created in other Pacific Island Countries such as PNG, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The MTCU is comprised of Law Enforcement Officers from the Micronesian region. Currently the unit is staffed by officers from Kiribati Police Force, Palau Public Safety, Pohnpei State Public Safety, RMI Police Force, FSM Customs, FSM Immigration and Labor and the FSM National Police. Officers from the Common Wealth of the Northern Marianas will soon be joining the unit. The team is being supervised by Lieutenant Johnny M. Santos of the FSM National Police and Agent Mick Wilson as the adviser.

Secretary Maketo Robert, on behave of the FSM Government extended thanks to the Unite States Government through JIATF West and the Australian Government through the Australian Federal Police, for the funding and technical assistance they provided.

The ceremony ended with traditional dances from some Yapese COM students and refreshment from the COM Blue Plate students.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356