- The GOJ is intensifying efforts against terrorism, travel fraud, and other forms of criminal activity.
- It is being carried out in collaboration with the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism.
- These efforts will strengthen the security of the country’s borders and safeguard the island from organised criminal networks.
More than 30 officers from the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), are benefiting from training, as the Government of Jamaica intensifies efforts against terrorism, travel fraud, and other forms of criminal activity.
Immigration officers, investigators, citizenship and passport officers and customer service personnel from Kingston and Montego Bay, are participating in the comprehensive training programme, which got underway on Monday, November 18, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in the second city.
It is being carried out in collaboration with the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE).
Being held over five days, it will better equip the officers in areas such as travel document examination and fraud prevention.
Addressing participants during the official opening ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of PICA, Jennifer McDonald, noted the importance of the training.
“As an agency that is mandated to protect our nation’s borders, we understand how important it is to be one step ahead of those who try to outsmart the system. As such, we value this training initiative, as it will assist us in detecting instances of fraud, particularly in the area of travel document fraud and identity theft,” she said.
These efforts, she said, will strengthen the security of the country’s borders and safeguard the island from organised criminal networks, which sometimes take advantage of the fact that smaller countries in the Caribbean such as Jamaica, are strategically located and convenient for regional connectivity and transshipment.
“We, at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, understand that we must stay ahead of the game in terms of technology and use up-to-date practices and procedures if we are to do our part in protecting our borders from unwanted elements,” Ms. McDonald pointed out.
She informed that recently, PICA upgraded the Jamaican passport with additional security features to make it more tamper-proof.
“A passport is one of the major documents that identity thieves target. As such, we are constantly looking at international best practices to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the Jamaican passport,” she stated.
“We have also upgraded our border management system at the ports, by the introduction of advanced passenger information systems, so that out-going immigration has been re-engineered and persons no longer have to go to an immigration counter to be checked,” Ms. McDonald added.