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US says it addressed significant threats in the Caribbean during 2013

Sunday, February 02, 2014 | 11:06 AM    

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it addressed significant threats, while “optimising resources and building partnerships” in the Caribbean last year.

In its review of fiscal year 2013, CBP said its efforts were possible through “collaborative operations and partnerships with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, which have become an integral part of CBP’s procedures within the Caribbean, in order to generate reductions in illicit activity throughout the area,” it said in a statement.

“Throughout the year, the men and women of CBP played a decisive role in ensuring our nation’s security and prosperity,” said Acting Commissioner Thomas S Winkowski.

“From border security to travel facilitation and trade enforcement, these numbers illustrate CBP’s combined efforts in 2013 to accomplish its critical mission,” he added.

CBP officers and agents in the Caribbean seized over 31,962 pounds of narcotics, with an estimated street value of about US$320 million, and seized about US$3.5 million in unreported currency in fiscal 2013, which runs from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.

Winkowski said the CBP Office of Air and Marine (Caribbean Air and Marine Branch) played a “major role in the determent of illegal activity throughout our coasts, through the coordinated use of integrated air and marine forces to detect, interdict and prevent the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband in the area.”

CBP Agriculture Specialists also seized more than 16,677 prohibited plant materials, meat, animal byproducts and soil and intercepted nearly 3,140 pests.

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