Customs Officers busy protecting our borders20 April 2017, 5:15 AM
The Customs Department says it has increased its border protection efforts to prevent and disrupt illicit activities and to meet the ever expanding and diverse threats to Cayman's borders. Officials say substantial investment in personnel, technology and infrastructure, particularly during the past several months, has facilitated successes in the detection and arrest of persons for drugs and weapons offenses.
On 17th April 2017 Officers from the Customs Department arrested a 45 year old male American national for possession of ganja at the Owen Roberts International Airport.
On that same day a 29 year old Caymanian male and a 25 year old Caymanian female were also arrested at the Owen Roberts International Airport for the offence of importing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. In addition to the firearm and ammunition, a large value of personal household goods were also found undeclared and is presently being processed. Investigations are continuing by the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team.
On 24th March 2017 Customs Officers intercepted a controlled drug concealed in a toy boat imported via air mail. Officers became suspicious of the package and conducted an x-ray which confirmed the illegal substance hidden in the toy boat along with other items. Two persons were subsequently arrested and investigations in relation to this matter are currently ongoing.
During the past three months a total of eighteen persons have been arrested by Customs for various offenses ranging from drugs to firearms offenses.
Collector of Customs Charles Clifford said that "illicit drugs and weapons smuggling, fraud and revenue evasion have been and continues to be among the Customs Department priorities." He continued that "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."
The Collector reaffirmed that "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."
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 offenses."
Deputy Collector of Customs Jeff Jackson who is responsible for the department's Border Protection Portfolio said 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. Mr. Jackson said that "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."
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