CARICOM IMPACS concludes national workshop on illegal firearms trafficking

From Monday to Thursday this week, law enforcement and border control agencies benefited from information and training facilitated by the Crime Gun Intelligence Unit (CGIU) within the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS).

IMPACS was supported by partners from United States security and border control agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations

Coming out of the In-Country Sensitisation and Awareness workshop, national agencies including the police, customs, immigration, the port authority and others will be better equipped to deal with illegal firearm trafficking. 

During the four day workshop, participants engaged in discussions on firearms export licensing, e-tracing, and critical investigative techniques.

Deputy Executive Director at CARICOM IMPACS, Tonya Ayow, explained that the workshop would also strengthen existing relationships and enhance information and intelligence sharing capabilities of local agencies with their regional and international counterparts.

“We recognise that the fight against firearms-related crimes demands a united front. It necessitates a seamless exchange of information and intelligence, expertise and resources across regional and international boundaries,” Ayow said.

Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, who has been leading the national fight to combat a recent surge in gun violence also noted the timeliness of the workshop. 

“St. Kitts and Nevis is not immune to the increased incidences of firearms-related crimes, however, our law enforcement agencies are fully engaged to arrest this menace to society.

“The traffic of illegal weapons into any nation is a direct breach of its borders and a threat to the safety and security of every man, woman and child. Such actions serve only to erode the efficacy and integrity of the national security apparatus of our countries here in the Caribbean. As a people, it is our national duty to learn all that we can in order to arrest this plague and rid our societies of the dark veil of gun violence,” the prime minister remarked.

Similar workshops are expected to occur in each of CARICOM’s fifteen member states in the coming months.

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