Three Customs Officers from the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are currently gaining valuable on-the-job training in different aspects of the operations of the Customs Department in the Cayman Islands.
Led by Assistant Collector of Enforcement, Ms June Harry, the team which is in training in Grand Cayman from 6-17 June 2017, includes Senior Customs Officer (Intelligence Unit/Investigations), Mr. Gregston Been and Customs Officer (Anti-Smuggling Unit), Mr. Alton Scott.
The training is the first time in the Cayman Islands for the TCI officers, Ms Harry noted. It is aimed at taking forward TCI Customs department’s strategic plan for the next three financial years with its focus on strengthening enforcement initiatives. Additionally, training is one of the tools for fostering capacity building in TCI Customs, Ms Harry explained.
Welcoming the TCI team CI Collector of Customs, Mr. Charles Clifford, said he was happy that the department’s officers could provide insights to their fellow TCI officers into advances and capabilities that the CI Customs Department has put in place over the last few years. “Though this is the first time, we hope to build a strong relationship from this platform and plan to keep our lines of communication open,”
“We welcome better cooperation and solidarity among the region’s Customs operations, and especially among other regional British Overseas Territories’ departments,” Mr. Clifford said. “Regional cooperation, exchanging information and cross-training are highly important as are building on relationships and networking among law enforcement agencies,” the Collector emphasised.
Deputy Collector (Border Protection), Mr. Jeff Jackson, who logistically helped set up the training, added that collaboration and information sharing have never been more relevant and timely among law enforcement agencies, whether local, regional or international. “Such partnerships and initiatives can strengthen and help sustain our border protection efforts and combat common threats,” he commented.
During the attachment, the TCI Customs Department officers will work in a variety of Customs areas including Intelligence, container selection and examination, fraud, risk management and seaport operations, he added.
“We chose the Cayman Islands because of its advanced enforcement operations and tools, particularly, baggage and containerized scanning,” Ms Harry said. “We consider the Cayman Customs Department to be well-advanced and experienced in dealing with many aspects of Customs enforcement, including commercial imports and exports, fraud, intelligence gathering and analysis, container examination and risk management,” she commented.
For their part, the officers hope to gain beneficial experience and learn about best practices and approaches used in the other jurisdictions. The goal is to harness the knowledge gleaned to improve their overall enforcement capabilities and operational effectiveness and efficiency going forward, she added.
All three officers were unanimous about the value of the training received. As Training Manager for TCI Customs, Ms Harry plans to share the knowledge gained with their other colleagues. TCI Customs, headed by Ms Chawa Williams, has 46 staff members spread over four islands; 80% have less than 10 years’ experience in the department, she said.
They are particularly grateful for the warm Caymanian hospitality they have received, ever since their arrival, the team members acknowledge. “All the officers have made us feel very much at home – so a big thank you to all, starting from Mr. Clifford and especially Mr. Jackson who helped put this training together,” Ms Harry comments.
Photo caption: Photo by Bina Mani, GIS
L-r: CI Deputy Collector, Mr. Jeff Jackson, TCI Customs Officer Alton Scott, CI Collector of Customs, Mr. Charles Clifford, TCI Assistant Collector of Enforcement, Ms June Harry, Senior Customs Officer, Mr. Gregston Been and CI Deputy Collector, Mr. Marlon Bodden
For the official Cayman Islands Government web portal, www.gov.ky:
Web title: TCI Officers Train in Cayman
Web blurb: Three Customs Officers from Turks and Caicos Islands get hands-on training in various aspects of CI Customs’ operations.