Immigration officers from five Pacific countries have created a draft border security or management plan for the 2019 Pacific Games that will be hosted by Samoa 7-20 July.
Coming up with the plan was a key activity for 10 officers who completed the four-day Pacific Border Management and Training of Trainers Programme that closed Friday afternoon in Apia.
"One of the key activities we did over one and a half days, actually two days, was we war-gamed, did some pre-planning for the South Pacific Games so we used the Pacific Games as a case study and we actually sat down and drew up plans and possible interventions on how we would manage such important large scale national events," Ioane Alama, Head of Secretariat of Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC) said during an interview with Newsline Samoa.
"We will have a number of travelers coming in from throughout the region. There are now a number of recommendations to guide us in terms of getting immigration agencies from across the Pacific to provide operations support to Samoa during the event."
Officers developed recommendations and participants will go back to their memberships "to see if they'd be happy for us to run this operation basically to support Samoa during the Pacific Games," Alama said.
"We don't want persons of interest or criminals travelling in to utilize the in-flow of people into Samoa to commit transnational crimes of some sort. People target the Games for selling drugs and steroids and hard drugs. Hopefully we'll be able to get a lot of advanced information from immigration agencies in the other countries to the extent that we share information and allow us to identify who are legitimate travellers coming through and if there are any persons of interest and having them on stand by to respond specifically to Samoa."
The training held April 9-12, concluded with the distribution of 10 Certificates of Completion to immigration officers from Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa.
PIDC, The Bali Process Regional Support Office and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted the training for trainers.
Samoa expects some 4,000 plus athletes and officials for the Pacific Games July 2-20.