An agreement establishing the Micronesian Regional Transnational Crime Unit (MTCU) was signed by the Presidents of three island nations in the region, the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau at the 23rd Micronesian Islands Forum in Saipan.

The MTCU will serve as a criminal law enforcement network that “analyses trends of criminal activities in the region, risks and vulnerability against transnational crimes and terrorism and collaboration and sharing of information throughout the membership”.

Some of the areas of cooperation include preventing, investigating and prosecuting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, combatting money laundering, terrorism, exchanges of information relevant to criminal investigations, prevention of trafficking of persons, information regarding drug smuggling and trafficking and collaboration on cybercrime prevention, detection and prosecution.

The entity is made up of Attorney Generals of the three respective polities.

The formulation of the MTCU came about as a result of the Palikir Communique signed last year mandating such framework. (L.N. Reklai/Editor)