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Belize receives help from IMPACS to Secure its Border

In unity there is strength, this statement holds true for the work of the Customs and Excise and Immigration Departments. It is believed that by working together, they are better able to fight the war against human trafficking and drug trafficking. A one week workshop is being conducted by the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) of CARICOM to teach them how to accomplish this. Love News spoke to Earl Harris, Assistant Director of Strategic Services of IMPACS.

Earl Harris – Assistant Director

“We are working towards and encouraging the customs and immigration authorities to work together, to start seeing themselves as strategic partners in this war against crime and illicit trafficking, recognizing that no one entity has the capacity to do it on their own so by working together we strengthen the borders. The model we are promoting is you all form critical elements in the border security infrastructure you need to share information, you need to share the intelligence and work together.”

The workshop is geared towards equipping the participants with tools that will help them better interrogate passengers. Harris shared some of the knowledge the participants will be acquiring.

Earl Harris – Assistant Director

“Where we teach the participants or enhance what they already know techniques in profiling passengers, in the tools of the trade for examining cargo  and luggage, documents, determining if a passport is genuine- if its false there are persons of interest that they need to target based on the way they act when they come off the place, if they seem overdressed for the climate so it’s a lot of new skills and techniques and what is good about it on Thursday we are supposed to visit the airport as a class and they apply some of these new skills and techniques. We have had some success stories where we have done this training and they’ve actually identified persons who have been trying to smuggle stuff so it’s both theory and practical.”

A total of thirty participants are attending the workshop: fifteen from the Immigration Department and fifteen from the Customs and Excise Department. The workshop is being funded by the European Union.