OT-1025E | Date: 10/04/2010 | (As Prepared for Delivery) | Taipei, Taiwan, September 23, 2010
Minister Lee, Director General Wu, Deputy Director General Lu, Deputy Director General Jao, Director Luna, Mr. King, and distinguished colleagues, on behalf of the American Institute of Taiwan, I wish you a good morning and warm welcome to the Customs Border Enforcement Workshop — Combating Cross-Border Crime and Safeguarding Market Integrity.
I am very appreciative for the opportunity to provide welcoming remarks alongside Minister Lee this morning to such a large and international audience, all of whom are committed to working together to address critical issues affecting our public safety and national security.
Thank you to the Director General of Taiwan Customs and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who are co-hosting this workshop with generous funding provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of State Office of Narcotics Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
All of us recognize that criminal organizations exploit our customs rules and regulations, whether the crime is undervaluation to circumvent taxes or duties, importation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bulk cash smuggling, munitions smuggling, drug and tobacco smuggling, or the trade of endangered species. As the speed and ease of travel, information sharing, and shipping have increased, cross-border crime has become more complex and criminal conspiracies often involve numerous jurisdictions. As such, we are all here today and tomorrow to share our experiences and best practices and to seek ways where we can increase collaboration to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations that know no borders and operate with impunity throughout the world today.
The topics discussed during this workshop are quite varied and reflect the diverse and complex nature of our responsibilities to the public in securing our borders. In order for this workshop to be a success, your active participation will be paramount. It is very important that your colleagues learn about your strategies and methodologies so as to permit and facilitate innovative concepts for addressing criminal organizations who are not bound by finite budgets and limited personnel.
I am certain that as a result of this workshop, enduring professional networks and relationships will be formed, resulting in improved and/or increased multi-lateral efforts to eradicate criminal activities that fund criminal organizations. This funding is the lifeblood of criminal syndicates and elimination of this funding source will not only deal a heavy blow but will also serve as a significant deterrence to future criminal activity in the region.
Thanks again for all of you being here these next two days and I look forward to learning about your future successes in customs border enforcement.