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Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM Secretariat Dr Douglas Slater.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday June 24, 2017 – Customs and Immigration Officers are being urged not to fall prey to corruption, despite the temptation that may come their way.

The appeal was made recently by Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM Secretariat Dr Douglas Slater as he addressed a recent joint national order security training exercise aimed at enhancing capacity of border security officials in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states to prevent, detect and minimize the opportunity of illegal activities.

Dr Slater acknowledged that due to the economic situation in the Caribbean, law enforcement agents are faced with the temptation of corruption. But he told the participants it is important that they refrain from such inducements.

“We know that our workers, including our border protection agencies, do have temptations and the criminals are out there and will be making offers. You have a responsibility and I expect you to uphold that responsibility to desist from such temptations, because if you do not have proper discipline and professionalism, chaos will result,” Dr Slater cautioned.

The senior CARICOM official pointed out that the illicit movement of drugs and untaxed goods puts a strain of the economy of the country.

“Such activities hinder government’s social obligations to finance important programmes and policies that will develop the country,” he said.

Dr Slater urged ranks to take advantage of the training, noting that it is their responsibility to assist the government in ensuring that revenues are collected. “Be professional, be vigilant, be compassionate but most of all, be professional, do what you have to do and serve your country well,” he urged.

Guyana’s Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix noted that his country is one of several CARICOM nations that serve as primary transit routes for criminal syndicates, and disclosed that people are repeatedly caught with false immigration stamps in their passports.

“These issues have and are presenting major challenges to Caribbean countries, and have the capability to undermine democratic institutions and hinder economic activities that are vital to countries such as Guyana and by extension the international community,” he said.

The security training was organized by the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), European Union (EU) and the United States Customs and Border Protection.

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