The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) strengthened their collaborative efforts through the signing of an International Police Organization (INTERPOL) Memorandum of Understanding at the JCA’s head office in Kingston on Tuesday, July 25.
This signing opens doors of opportunity for the JCA, as they will now have complete access to INTERPOL databases. This means reduced turnaround time for investigative and information-gathering purposes, both of which are important for combating crimes involving trade across borders.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, praised the efforts of the JCA to enhance their border protection efforts through this collaboration.
“This is a great day for corporation and collaboration for the security of Jamaica and an opportunity to share what we have with you to extend the reach of INTERPOL within the country,” he said. He further noted, “the level of cooperation and arrangement that can be obtained from joining INTERPOL is incomparable as this memorandum removes the gaps in the security architecture that organized crime uses to traverse our system and our country.”
CEO and Commissioner of Customs, Mrs Velma Ricketts-Walker, explained that the main aim of the agreement is to further strengthen Jamaica’s border protection capabilities. She said access to INTERPOL means the JCA has new tools for identifying suspects, individuals of interest, their associates as well as associated entities.
“The ability to access INTERPOL’s different systems—which provide information on crime and other offences from 195 member states—enables our border protection capabilities to be more real-time; information is shared faster across borders, accelerating the creation of intelligence packages and enabling more precise [interceptions],” she said.
Ricketts-Bailey expects the partnership to be a mutually beneficial one.
“This coordinated approach to border management will bring increased information sharing and improved cooperation with international partners. Working with key stakeholders and partners is of paramount importance as we seek to eliminate the cross-border movement of illicit goods and activities,” she explained.
The Memorandum of Understanding is another joint effort between the JCF and the JCA to protect Jamaica’s borders. The entities have historically worked closely to tackle the guns for drugs trade as well as the importation of illegal and prohibited goods.