Monday, 26 May 2008 8:27 AM

Operation Clean Harbour Confiscate Undeclared Goods

Over 280 cartons of cigarettes and ten cartons of Korean alcohol have been confiscated from a foreign fishing vessel as part of Operation Clean Harbour.

Operation Clean Harbour is a joint effort by law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal activities on Honiara harbour.

Police Harbour Patrol assisted Customs and Quarantine officers board a foreign fishing vessel on Wednesday (21 May 2008) to conduct a check to determine if any illegal activities were occurring onboard.

During the operational checks, Customs officers observed a number of items onboard that they suspected had not been declared, which constitutes a breach of Customs and Quarantine laws.

At approximately 10:30am on Thursday (22 May 2008), Harbour Patrol and Customs officers with the support of the Central Police Special Operation team went back to the foreign fishing vessel. Customs officers conducted a thorough check of the vessel and identified goods that had not been declared and therefore were not allowed to be brought into the country.

More than 280 cartons of cigarettes and just over ten cartons of alcoholic drinks were confiscated by Customs' officers.

Provincial Police Commander of Honiara City, Superintendent Phillip Kaukui said he is pleased with the outcome of the joint operation and thanked the officers involved in the operation.

"I am very pleased with the results of the joint operation and I wish convey my sincere gratitude to all the officers from the different law enforcement agencies who were involved in the operation.

"The fact that different agencies successfully carried out the joint operation demonstrates the need for us work even more closely in the future," Superintendent Kaukui said.

The harbour is part of Honiara City and there is a range of legislation that covers the activities of all people, including the actions of foreign fishing vessels, when they use the harbour.

Superintendent Kaukui explained that this is the reason why it is important for the different law enforcement agencies to work together.

"It is very important we continue to work together and stop illegal activities on our harbour. Some of the illegal activities fall under Customs legislation and some is the responsibility of police.

"I welcome the joint effort by Customs, Police and Quarantine to crack down on illegal activities on the harbour and in the city.

"This is an exciting concept and I can assure other law enforcement agencies participating in Operation Clean Harbour that Honiara City Police is fully supporting this initiative and will continue to do so," Superintendent Kaukui said.

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