Thursday 21 June, 2018

Customs Department vows tougher approach on illicit activities

The Customs Department on Wednesday revealed that a total of eighteen persons had been arrested for various offenses ranging from drugs to firearms offenses.

The arrests, which took place over a three-month period, has seen the Customs department rededicating itself to its tough against illicit activities campaign.

In a release, the department noted a few of the incidents which included a toy boat sent via airmail which had drugs concealed inside.

They also highlighted that on April 17, a 29-year-old and a 25-year-old were arrested at the airport for importing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Collector of Customs Charles Clifford noted in a release that “illicit drugs and weapons smuggling, fraud and revenue evasion have been and continues to be among the Customs Department priorities.”

 “At every level and every Customs control point, our officers are rededicating themselves to a tough campaign against illicit activities and I sincerely thank them for their efforts and diligence,” said Clifford.

 “Customs will enhance and nurture our productive and professional relationships with key external agencies concerned with border management in order to provide a comprehensive security regime and 'challenge' at points of entry when and where necessary through agreed objectives, co-operative efforts as well as sharing and exchanging information and other strategies” he added.

Assistant Collector of Customs Tina Campbell who has responsibility for the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team said that “the Customs Department wishes to warn the travelling public that matters involving drugs and firearms, which includes ammunition, are taken seriously and there is a zero tolerance for such offences.”

Deputy Collector of Customs Jeff Jackson echoed similar sentiments, noting that the Customs Department’s border protection efforts support national strategies to disrupt the market for illegal drugs and weapons and prevent transnational threats from reaching Cayman's shores.

 “We will continue to increase our efforts and coordinate with our partner agencies like the Royal Cayman Islands Police, the Department of Immigration and the strategic alliance between these three agencies with the Joint Marine Unit and other local and international agencies, with a shared understanding of common goals to disrupt the flow of illicit drug and weapons trafficking,”Jackson added.