The past couple months have seen the department increasing its training programs, for officers in various disciplines that represent a more proactive and offensive posture for the government agency.
Now, attention is being turned to the marine operations of the department, and shortly the local customs will launch its own vessel, the sixteen foot Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable that improves the capabilities of the Customs to monitor seafaring activities and deter would be smugglers who ply the coastal waters, said a senior officer.
Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Georid Belle announced that the Customs and Excise Department has acquired a “marine asset” that would assist the department in achieving its border security enforcement roles.
Mr. Belle made this disclosure while featuring on Tuesday’s episode of Customs Corner which is a radio program aired fortnightly.
Zodiac boats are considered superior and long lasting products. The company has had a record of making boats that have been used by military, government, and commercial customers since 1940.
The Customs’ Zodiac vessel which is expected to be commissioned before the close of June 2011 will be called Guardian 1.
Belle pointed out that the acquisition of the vessel would greatly enhance the capabilities of the department which is currently limited to “land assets”. This expanded capability will help to identify threats and interdict in cases where needed.
The Customs Administration is confident that the commissioning of this vessel will help in the national effort to secure our borders as Customs Enforcement agents will continue to work very closely with the Police Force, the Coast Guard Division of the Defense Force and The Security Arm of the Air and Sea Ports Authority, who are the Customs Department’s border security partners.
The Customs Department has recognized the assistance provided by one of its partner agencies, in acquiring the marine asset.