Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2020 (SKNIS): Elmar Martines, Assistant Comptroller of Customs for Investigations said that officers of St. Kitts-Nevis Customs and Excise Department are men and women who are committed to keeping the borders of the twin-island federation safe.
The men and women of the agency are often referred to as the chief gatekeepers as they are charged with inspecting all imports and exports via sea and air.
The integrity needed to be effective customs officers is stressed during the recruitment and induction period of new personnel. The positive character trait is also spelt out featured in the mission statement of the agency. It reads, “We will serve our citizens, collect and protect all our revenues with fairness, efficiency and integrity, and enforce compliance laws at our borders.”
“I know the dedication my colleagues put out on a day-to-day basis to ensure that our borders are safe,” Mr. Martines stated, citing his frequent interactions with and observations of members of staff.
Currently, there are two cases being tried in a court of law where customs officers have been charged with importation offences. Investigative processes and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies resulted in the charges being brought against the officers.
“I want to make it clear that the Customs and Excise Department is not in the business of condoning and encouraging the smuggling of illegal firearms and ammunition [or] drugs,” the assistant comptroller said.