Better border security with more training for customs and immigration officers Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 November 2017 00:00

The Belize Customs and Excise Department as well as the Department of Immigration and Nationality have enlisted officers to be part of a weeklong training for border security. The training began on Monday, November 13, 2017 through the partnership between Belize and the European Union (EU). The workshop was launched by the Ministry of Immigration, the Caribbean Customs Laws Enforcement Council, and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

At the end of the training, the officers will be expected to have learnt joint strategies in addressing common security threats as well as operational procedures in an effort to secure the borders of Belize and, by extension, enhancing regional security. The workshop will focus on capacity building in the area of detection of illegal activity and the enabling of higher prosecution and conviction rates.

Hon. Beverly Williams, Minister of State, Immigration and Refugees, figures that ensuring safety at the borders is especially important for the country at this time being that tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner for Belize.

Assistant Director of Strategic Services, CARICOM IMPACS, Earl Harris, was also at day one of the workshop. The purpose, says Harris, is to bring together the Customs and Immigration departments and to let them understand that there is no single entity that has the capacity to patrol and protect the borders. They will be brought together to be re-exposed to techniques and knowledge in terms of human trafficking, false documents, imposters, and smuggling; “reinforcing in their minds that they must know their laws, must know their authority because theirs is a responsibility of being the frontline of border security”.