The Department of Public Safety has made an agreement with law enforcement agencies in Thailand, Japan and Korea for an exchange of intelligence information on the operation of Asian organized crime.
DPS Commissioner Charles W. Ingram and Capt. Max Concepcion met with the top officials of agencies in these three countries during the 8th Annual Asian Criminal Enterprise Conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii on Jan. 18-21, 2000.
Criminal enterprise includes the manufacture of fake credit cards, drug trafficking, international kidnapping, smuggling of firearms, Chinese smuggling and money laundering.
As police and customs officials in western part of the United States, Honolulu, Guam and the CNMI tighten security against drug trafficking, the Chinese Triad has now made Canada as transshipment point, according to Mr. Ingram.
DPS has been carrying out surveillance on suspected people who are involved in the sale of “ice” on the island. But Mr. Ingram said the most effective way to cut down if not eliminate the importation and sale of this illegal substance is the cooperation of the community in reporting the involvement of people in this activity.
“Community involvement is still a big factor in drug prevention program. We have to constantly carry out awareness campaign to inform the people especially the youth about the dangers of drug use,” he added.
The DPS chief said such effort may be complemented by passing appropriate legislation in connection with drug trafficking. In Hawaii, a law was recently passed leading to the arrest of people involved in the manufacture of drugs. Mr. Ingram said such law will also discourage the setting up of clandestine laboratories on the island.
In Japan, the importation of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “ice” has become a major problem for many years now primarily coming from Taiwan, China and Korea.
A study conducted on Southeast Asian drug trafficking showed that the top four countries involved in the production of opium to heroin are Burma, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
In China alone, domestic consumption of heroin has grown with 596,000 registered drug addicts. Old routes of drug operation is through Thailand to the United States or indirectly through Hong Kong. In Canada, drugs are most likely transshipped to Vancouver for the U.S. market. Customers from the United States have to go to Canada to buy the drugs.
In Australia, the heads of law enforcement agencies agreed to a coordinated national approach to Asian Organized Crime under the Blade National Task Force and its National Management Plan in 1995.
According to the National Crime Authority in Australia, heroin trafficking has consistently ranked as the organized crime activity with the greatest threat, directly and indirectly to the Australian community. It is estimated that approximately 5,000 kg. of heroin is required to support user demand in Australia. Eighty percent is imported by South-East Asian Australians.