NOOSA – “Who wears sunglasses on a rainy day looking like they’re going to the concert in a suit?” the joke goes.
The answer is a G-man, the American slang term for agents of the United States government, usually from the FBI.
The famed Federal Bureau of Investigation is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA, the government’s principal federal law enforcement agency.
The FBI attaché from the US Embassy in Canberra just completed a couple of days training 15 officers of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
The training, specifically aimed at investigating money laundering and corruption, was led by an FBI assistant commissioner of crime, Hodges Ette.
The US Embassy’s chargé d’affaires Joseph Zadrozny thanked the RPNGC for their support of a safer, more transparent PNG.
“Transnational crime threatens all of us, Americans and Papua New Guineans,” Zadrozny said, telling the officers that president Joe Biden had directed that transparency be brought to the global financial system.
“PNG is working with us to close loopholes that undermine democracy, catch criminals and make the Indo-Pacific safer.”
Zadrozny said he applauded PNG’s efforts to fight corruption and financial crimes.
It is estimated that more than K4 billion is stolen from PNG’s budget each year, brought to Australia and hidden in the banking system and the Queensland property market.
Last July, the PNG-based BSP Financial Group attracted the ire of the reserve bank’s financial analysis and supervision unit for alleged serious breaches of Australia’s anti-money laundering rules.
And in recent years there have been a number of risk assessments stating that illegal logging poses a huge money laundering threat to PNG.
The training was requested by the PNG government to provide police investigators with new skills on international best practice in conducting complex financial criminal investigations.
The course covered advanced investigative techniques for exposing money laundering and corruption, FBI case studies and practical exercises.
The FBI stations special agents overseas to build relationships with law enforcement, intelligence, and security services.
The FBI’s Canberra legal attaché’s office covers Australia, PNG and Pacific Island nations.
And here’s a slightly adapted multinational police joke to finish with.
At an international police convention in Canberra, the FBI, the Australian Federal Police and the RPNGC have a contest.
Rabbits will be set loose in the bush and the team that catches theirs first wins.
First goes the AFP. They use sniffer dogs and helicopters and come back with the rabbit in two hours.
Then it’s the FBI’s turn. They use high-tech gear, drones with thermal image cameras and satellite tracking. They’re back with the rabbit in just one hour.
Last to go out is the RPNGC. They return after 20 minutes with a very frightened pig, a written confession and the animal is screaming, “I'm a rabbit! I swear I'm a rabbit”.