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Senior Customs Manager To Visit East Timor

A Senior Operations Manager with the New Zealand Customs Service, will arrive in East Timor tomorrow, to meet with United Nations authorities and Timorese leaders, in Dili.

Paul Campbell, Auckland Manager Customs Air & Marine, will also meet with the five New Zealand Customs Officers who are deployed in East Timor, as part of a United Nations task force.

Since their arrival in Dili almost two months ago, the five Customs Officers have been fully occupied in establishing a Border Control Service, as well as training local East Timorese staff in Customs administration, immigration, and related border control activities.

The Customs Officers’ deployment is part of New Zealand’s Official Development Assistance programme, following a request from UNTAET, to provide Customs expertise in the region.

Mr Campbell said his meeting with the United Nations authorities and East Timorese leaders, will assess the current status of the newly independent nation’s border controls, a request to extend the deployment of New Zealand Customs staff, and what further skills maybe required that are of positive benefit.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the staff on my arrival. Already they’re half way through their three month deployment. Every Officer has displayed outstanding ability in the way they relate to the local people, as well as carrying out their duties often in difficult and extreme conditions.”

“The East Timor Customs Service activities are confined to the Port and Comoro airport in Dili, but a new post near the border with Indonesian West Timor, will soon be established. Others are likely, so I will be visiting these areas to evaluate the existing conditions,” said Mr Campbell.

Paul Campbell will be in East Timor for five days. Prior to returning to Auckland, he will meet with Australian Customs Service colleagues in Darwin, viewing their Coast watch programme, and discussing with the ACS, how key operations against suspect vessels from Asia, are carried out.

Ends

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