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BOC, New Zealand strengthen partnership vs ‘TNOCs’

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THE Bureau of Customs (BOC), thru the Intelligence Group (IG) headed by Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy, welcomed the recent visit to the agency of officials from the New Zealand High Commission with the goal of enhancing both sides’ cross-border intelligence and enforcement measures against transnational organized crimes (TNOCs).

Transnational organized crimes encompass a wide range of illegal activities such as the smuggling of illicit drugs, tobacco, and agricultural products, intellectual property theft, and trafficking in persons, criminal activities that pose a significant threat to national security and economic competitiveness.

The delegates from New Zealand are composed of Customs Liaison Officer Grant Carr, Police Liaison Officer Detective Inspector Paul Borrell, and Irregular Migration Liaison Officer Craig Johnston, while Verne Enciso, director of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, the IG’s operations arm, assisted Uy during the discussion.

Uy, a respected and bemedaled retired Philippine Army 2-star general, highlighted the need for the BOC to modernize existing operations and strengthen collaborations with offshore agency partners to combat the growing threats and sophisticated methods of transnational crimes.

Proposed initiatives include implementing a data-sharing platform and drafting a bilateral agreement between the New Zealand and Philippine governments to improve investigative and intelligence-gathering capabilities.

The IG was also extended an invitation to join the Transnational Organized Crime Training and Capacity Building Program scheduled to take place from May 22 to June 2, 2023, in Semarang, Indonesia.

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