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Customs Commissioner charges REDTRAC graduates

Customs House Weekly

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CEO/Commissioner of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Velma Ricketts Walker, has charged graduates of the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC) to be proactive and vigilant, as the security of the region weighs heavily on them.

Walker was addressing 20 participants drawn from six Caribbean territories Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago who received training in narcotics investigation.

The participants represented Customs, Immigration, Ports and the Police departments.

At the graduation ceremony, held on September 15, 2017, Walker charged the graduates to maintain their integrity and make no compromises as they seek to effectively combat the narcotics trade and other illegal activities, including illegal imports and trafficking in people.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that in 2015, the illegal drugs market in the Caribbean generated an estimated income of US$3.3 billion, representing 3.1 per cent of the gross domestic product in the region.

The UNODC also said that the trade in cocaine in the region increased during the past decade by 72 per cent.

Among the areas in which the participants received training were: Drugs and Trends, Air and Sea Port Interdiction, Case Investigation, Search Techniques, Surveillance Tactics, Drug Profit and Confiscation Issues, Agreements and Legal Issues, and International Narcotics Conventions.

THE JCA WILL REMAIN VIGILANT

As an agency with responsibility for border protection, the JCA recognises that several elements impact our capabilities to carry out this mandate effectively to include:

- Our use of technology

- Our use of risk-based approaches

- The use of intelligence systems and data analysis

-And critically, collaborating with our partners, nationally, regionally and internationally, as we seek to enhance and strengthen our border protection capabilities within the Caribbean region.

Local and regional collaboration is vital to strengthening border protection.

The JCA will continue to increase its efforts to effectively collaborate with our various partners and our neighbouring Caribbean states, as together we seek to protect our economies and societies.