Wednesday, 8 December 2010 9:27 AM

Australia Praises Solomon's Crime Laws

Australia's Federal Justice Minister, Brendan O'Connor, has praised the Solomon Islands government for strengthening laws to stamp out money laundering.

Mr O'Connor held talks with senior officials while on a visit to the Solomon Islands.

In recent times Pacific Islands offshore financial centers (OFCs) have come under the spotlight, and have been faced with the danger that international organizations will cut them off from the global financial system. This threat is supported by accusations that offshore centers in Oceania promote money laundering, harmful tax practices and instability in the world financial system.

Since than many have taken steps to ensure that they are compliant with international best practice and, like the Solomon Islands, have strengthened its own domestic laws.

The discussions also included Australia's cooperation with the Solomon Islands on a range of transnational crime and international policing issues.

"Strengthening anti-money laundering regimes in our region is vital to combating transnational organized crime, including people smuggling and drug trafficking," Mr O'Connor said in a statement.

"We want to work with the Solomon Islands to detect organized crime, target criminal kingpins and remove the lure of criminal activity by confiscating ill-gotten gains."

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By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
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