St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: The comprehensive approach taken by Minister of National Security the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin and by extension the Antigua and Barbuda Labour party (ABLP) to include Customs and Immigration as part of the country’s security team has received high praises from the Comptroller of Customs, Raju Boddu.
Boddu during an interview pointed out that for many years, the Customs Department had been classified mainly as a revenue collection agency.
He explained that this is far from the mandate of the division.
The Comptroller continued that customs plays a significant role in all border security and control operations, adding that officers are on the frontline every day.
Boddu commended the National Security Minister for his vision and added that the steps being taken, will ensure that the security architecture of the twin island state is sound. He mentioned “We are providing useful inputs to the Security Council and it is and increase recognition that customs should play a vital role in border security.”
The Comptroller stated that during the upcoming year the plan is to ensure that officers are armed and receive continuous training. A canine unit will also be established.
Also with cabinet’s approval, new security equipment will be purchased to further boost security operations at the V.C. Bird International Airport.