NEWS:Asia Pacific Immigration Body to Fight Transnational Crimes

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Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Wed, 9 Dec 1998 13:14:54 -0800 (PST)


ASIA PACIFIC IMMIGRATION BODY TO FIGHT TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES

MANILA, Dec 08, 1998 (Asia Pulse via COMTEX) -- Immigration chiefs from 15
countries in the Asia-Pacific have approved in principle the establishment
of an Association of Asia-Pacific Immigration Commissioners.

At the annual conference of immigration heads in the Asia-Pacific held Nov.
29-Dec. 5 in Tokyo, immigration chiefs agreed to the proposal of creating
an association in order to form a united front against terrorism, drug
trafficking, human smuggling, pedophilia, and other transnational crimes
besetting the region.

The conference was attended by immigration chiefs in Japan, Australia,
Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hongkong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia,
Thailand, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States.

Philippine Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez said he proposed the
creation of the association to enable the countries in the region to
exchange intelligence information on wanted terrorists, fugitives and
criminals who might have entered and sought refuge in their territory.

Rodriguez said the new body would also serve as a forum for multilateral
consultations and data bank on immigration administration, control, laws
and procedures of the different countries in the Asia-Pacific.

He said the participants also agreed during the meeting to continue
implementing measures such as visa exemption and special pass systems that
will promote the smoother movement of people across their borders.

However, he explained that proper safeguards and controls are still needed
to protect the security of the countries that will agree to ease travel
restrictions on incoming foreigners.

He said they also agreed to put in place measures to counter the
proliferation of human smuggling activities in the region.


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