Climate Change & Money Laundering are Samoa’s Pressing Issues

Some of the delegates at the Pacific Judiciary Conference in progress in Apia, Samoa

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2018: Climate Change and Money Laundering are two pressing issues challenging Samoa as expressed at the Pacific Judiciary Conference (PJC) going into its second day in Apia.

This is according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (MJCA) Papali’i John Taimalelagi.

He said all issues are important to the survival of Samoa and the Pacific; however, there are pressing issues that are given priority in addressing.

Papali’i believes that Samoa’s size and remoteness has been taken advantage of by many people to do business including money laundering.

This was emphasised further on by Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil during his presentation yesterday on the “Movement of People and Trans-National Crime in the Pacific –Trends and Challenges.”

Papali’i is confident that the conference will produce fruitful results.

Speakers who presented on money laundering included the Chair of the Pacific Islands Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, Judge McKeown on the topic, “Money Laundering and The Challenge at the National Level.”

Also discussed was the “Role of the Courts in Combating Money Laundering” which was presented by Judge Clifford Wallace, Chief Judge Emeritus of the United States Court of Appeal.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi addressing the conference

Chief Justices from Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea also presented their countries views on this fast emerging problem in the Pacific.

In searching for ways and new ideas in fighting money laundering, the Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa, Maiava Atalina Enari presented an overview and efforts taken collectively by the Pacific in combatting money laundering.

Money laundering is one issue constantly on the agenda of many international and national conferences.

In June this year, Samoa Parliament passed the Money Laundering Prevention Amendment Act 2018.

The Act ensures that Samoa’s laws are in-line with current international legislations to combat money laundering.