US embassy cable - 05WELLINGTON332

COOK ISLANDS COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR VAN KIRK, BROWN, MYERS, AND MARTIN, MAY 19 - JUNE 4, 2005

Identifier: 05WELLINGTON332
Wikileaks: View 05WELLINGTON332 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Wellington
Created: 2005-04-22 04:06:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: OTRA ECON ASEC HK CW NZ IRS Country Clearance
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000332 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
HONG KONG FOR JAY VAN KIRK 
EAP/ANP - TRAMSEY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OTRA, ECON, ASEC, HK, CW, NZ, IRS, Country Clearance 
SUBJECT:  COOK ISLANDS COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR VAN KIRK, 
BROWN, MYERS, AND MARTIN, MAY 19 - JUNE 4, 2005 
 
REF:  HONG KONG 2061 
 
1.  (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to 
IRS Officials Jay Van Kirk, Reginald Brown, Monte Myers, 
and Tonya Martin, to travel to the Cook Islands from May 
19 - June 4, 2005.  The purpose of this visit is to 
provide a two-week Financial Investigative Techniques 
(FIT) class to Cook Island law enforcement personnel. 
 
2.  (U) Embassy understands that no assistance is 
required. 
 
3.  (SBU) Embassy point of contact is Economic Officer Joy 
Yamamoto.  Contact details are as follows: 
 
Office:  644-462-6182 
Fax:     644-472-3537 
Cell:    027-446-4467 
E-mail:  YamamotoJO@state.gov 
 
------------ 
COOK ISLANDS 
------------ 
 
4.  (U) The Cook Islands is a Parliamentary democracy in 
free association with New Zealand, on which they rely for 
defense and assistance in meeting low-level security 
threats.  The Embassy is not aware of any specific threats 
to U.S. facilities or personnel at this time in the Cook 
Islands.  However, in light of the worldwide security 
alert all visitors should heighten their security 
awareness and report any unusual incidents to the Regional 
Security Office at the Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand. 
 
5.  (U) Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks 
in the U.S. and the November 2002 terrorist bombing in 
Bali, there has been concern that terrorists might seek to 
take advantage of the low level of security maintained in 
small island states such as the Cook Islands in order to 
target tourists in previously safe destinations.  New 
Zealand has worked with the Cook Islands to improve 
airport security in response to this possibility. 
Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, 
suicide operations, bombings, or kidnapping.  Possible 
threats include conventional weapons such as explosive 
devices or non-conventional weapons, including chemical or 
biological agents.  Terrorists do not distinguish between 
official and civilian targets.  Targets may include 
facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate 
or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, 
places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation 
events, resorts, and beaches.  U.S. citizens should 
increase their security awareness at such locations, avoid 
them, or switch to other locations where Americans in 
large numbers generally do not congregate. 
 
6.  (U) The Cook Islands offshore finance industry has 
come under scrutiny regarding possible money laundering. 
The Cook Islands has been included on the OECD's list of 
non-cooperating states in the fight against money 
laundering. 
 
7.  (U) As a result of recent military action in Iraq, 
there is a potential for retaliatory actions to be taken 
against U.S. citizens and interest throughout the world. 
Public demonstrations carry the potential for 
precipitating violence directed at American citizens. 
 
8.  (U) U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a 
heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their 
dependents and/or personnel.  These facilities may 
temporarily close or suspend public services from time to 
time for security reasons.  In those instances, U.S. 
embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide 
emergency services to American citizens.  Monitor the 
local news and maintain contact with the nearest American 
Embassy or U.S. Consulate. 
 
9.  (U) Precautions should also be taken to not discuss 
sensitive or classified information outside secure 
environments or over unsecured and/or cellular telephones, 
and to securely safeguard classified or sensitive 
information at the Chancery and not at hotels or 
residences. 
 
10.  (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State 
Department's Consular Information sheet and the most 
recent Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, which are 
available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov 
 
11.  (U) In essence, visitors must exercise appropriate 
caution and be alert to their surroundings with regard to 
their personal security.  Suspicious incidents/activities 
should be reported to RSO Wellington (Telephone (64)(4)462- 
6000, 24 hours/day). 
12.  (U) Crime:  Appropriate common sense precautions 
should be taken, especially at night, to avoid becoming a 
target of opportunity. 
 
13.  (U) Weather:  Severe cyclones present a threat during 
the hurricane season, which is from November to March. 
 
Burnett 

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