New patrol boat for Jamaica Customs Agency Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaica Customs Agency’s (JCA) efforts to combat illicit trade in the country’s marine space, have been significantly boosted with the acquisition of a new purpose-built maritime patrol vessel.

The craft, an Eduardono 320 patrol boat named ‘Enforcer I’, which is equipped with navigation, communication and safety apparatus, is 37 feet long and has two 300 horsepower engines, which will enable it to manoeuvre high tides at sea while in operation during inclement weather.

Speaking at the recent commissioning ceremony, held at the JCA’s Port Royal base, the agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Commissioner of Customs, Velma Ricketts Walker, said the vessel’s acquisition is an indication of the entity’s thrust to improve efficiency in its border protection activities.

“This new addition to our fleet is the first of its kind within Customs, and we expect that, in the coming years, the number of these boats will increase by at least four, resulting in a more efficient fleet of boats within the agency,” the CEO said.

She further pointed out that the timely acquisition would be very beneficial on the part of the Sufferance Wharves team, which “has skilfully managed to continue their efficient work”, despite not having all the tools to adequately perform their duties.

“Sea surveillance is an integral part of the team’s duties and, undoubtedly, this new boat, with more speed, larger capacity and the ability to span a wider range, will enhance their capabilities of patrolling the nation’s marine space to combat any illicit or illegal activities that may be intended to enter or exit our borders, while maintaining a strong presence,” the CEO explained.

She reminded that with the assistance of other law enforcement and border regulatory bodies, a collaborative approach is being taken to ensure that the nation and people are protected.

“As such, we continue to advance, to effectively cripple any transnational criminal networks that may want to creep within our borders,” Ricketts Walker pointed out.

The vessel is being added to the fleet of maritime assets owned by the JCA and will assist the agency to intercept unlawful people and cargo approaching Jamaica’s borders by sea, in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard and the Marine Police.

Ricketts Walker noted that maintaining a strong presence in the nation’s territorial waters is a key component in the fight against transnational crimes.

The CEO lauded the longstanding partnerships between the JCA and other law enforcement and border regulatory bodies, namely, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the JDF Coast Guard.

The JCA facilitates trade, protects the country’s borders and optimises revenue collection through collaborative border management.

It assists in safeguarding the nation by anticipating and confronting security threats at the borders and beyond, through partnerships, intelligence and innovative capabilities.

The agency is also an active participant in the Government of Jamaica’s ‘Get Every Illegal Gun Campaign’.

JIS News