Mutual legal assistance can help in curbing transnational crimes

National 1 minute, 57 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE local Law Enforcement Agency has been encouraged to make use of the various instruments that are available as they would assist it while carrying out investigations on transnational crimes.

In an interview during the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and INTERPOL seminar yesterday at the Royal Brunei Police Force Headquarters, the Head of the Commissioner of Police Secretariat Office Superintendent Pang Teck Ann said that some of the police officers may not be aware of the various legal instrument that can be used for their investigations, especially those that require foreign information.

Superintendent Pang said that the one-day seminar was aimed at raising the awareness and providing them with the understanding of the tools that would be beneficial for their investigations.

One of the instruments is the MLA which is governed by the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Order (MACMO) 2005 and headed by the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) through its Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Secretariat.

As the global economy and internet society have made transnational crimes more sophisticated, the cross border crimes make it more difficult to detect and obtain evidence. In such cases, the MLA is believed to be an important instrument to bring in evidence, locate witnesses or suspects and obtain the attendance of persons in a foreign country and more.

MLA is a process by which states seek and provide assistance in gathering evidence for use in criminal cases.

The Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Secretariat, as the local Central Authority, is responsible for handling and processing all formal requests for assistance.

“MLA is a good platform, the information that’s gathered by another country can be presented in court,” said Superintendent Pang.

He explained that MLA is beneficial for RBPF to carry out their investigations as they can legally use the documents by other countries for their investigation.

He hoped that the seminar raised the officers’ awareness on the benefits of MLA.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Senior Counsel and Officer of the Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Secretariat at AGC, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ng said MLA is one of the tools to curb and reduce transnational crimes.

“MLA is important as there are a lot that you can ask assistance for, but in Brunei, we do not receive enough request or we are not making enough request,” he said.

The Brunei Times