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Cross-border organized crime 'a global threat'
By Eddie Luk (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-11-27 11:08

Hong Kong will work closely with overseas jurisdictions to fight transnational organized crime, which has become a threat to global security.

Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung made the pledge at the opening ceremony of the Second Asia and Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors with the theme "Dealing with Drugs".

Addressing about 100 prosecutors from 17 jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Leung said organized crime has expanded in scale of operation.

"Transnational organized crime is more dangerous and more sophisticated than it has even been.

"It is therefore vital for the prosecutors of the world to work closely together to develop strategies and techniques which will contribute not only to safer societies but also to a more secure world," she said.

The SAR's Department of Justice has fostered closer ties with prosecutors in other jurisdictions to combat transnational crime at regional and global level, she said.

She also stressed Hong Kong's commitment to curb drug trafficking.

Crackdowns on manufacturing, distribution and possession of narcotics by crime syndicates will remain a top priority of local prosecutors, she said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Grenville Cross said the successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong has led to its maintaining an "open, efficient and just" judicial system.

Hong Kong has been given the unique status of autonomous common law jurisdiction, which enables local public prosecutions to follow the traditions of common law, he said.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary for Security Stanley Ying Yiu-hong said that the Hong Kong Security Bureau was working with the mainland authorities on a proposal to repatriate mainlanders serving prison time in Hong Kong to the mainland to serve the rest of their sentences.

On Wednesday, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee raised the issue at a meeting with Beijing officials.

The government needs to study whether mainland inmates in Hong Kong are willing to be repatriated to their area of origins; and determine what kind of crimes would be covered under the proposal, he said.

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