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  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, says the Government is committed to working with regional and international partners in fighting transnational crime and protecting citizens.
  • He said Jamaica and other island states have shorelines which are difficult to monitor and secure, thus making them vulnerable to sophisticated and resourced criminal organsations, which breach countries’ borders with illegal weapons, drugs and counterfeit products.
  • The Minister argued that the conference is particularly critical at this time when the region faces unacceptably high levels of crime.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, says the Government is committed to working with regional and international partners in fighting transnational crime and protecting citizens.

He said Jamaica and other island states have shorelines which are difficult to monitor and secure, thus making them vulnerable to sophisticated and resourced criminal organsations, which breach countries’ borders with illegal weapons, drugs and counterfeit products.

Speaking at the opening of  the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council’s (CCLEC) 38th annual conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, today (May 17), Mr. Montague said his Ministry welcomes and support the conference and the effort being made to find effective solutions to securing borders.

The five-day conference will last until May 20.

He said the theme of the conference: ‘Leveraging Customs Information Systems to Optimise Our Role in Border Security’, promises to “open our eyes to new and better ways of making greater use of the huge investments being made in advanced information systems to secure our borders and to fight crime in the digital age.”

The Minister argued that the conference is particularly critical at this time when the region faces unacceptably high levels of crime.

Mr. Montague said he is looking forward to positive and lasting impacts from discussions on national and regional security.

The CCLEC annual conference provides a platform for the sharing of best practices, strengthening of customs network, as well as an  opportunity for the Council to review the organisation’s progress and set priorities for the future.

CCLEC is a multilateral regional organisation dedicated to improving the overall professionalism of its members, and is based on a principal objective of information sharing on smuggling and support to smaller customs administrations in adjusting to organized trafficking through the region.

It was established in the early 1970s and is an association of customs administrations within the Caribbean and Latin American regions, as well as Canada, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.