(ZIZ News) — The St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department’s 12th Annual Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council’s (CCLEC) Junior Officers Basic Training Course wrapped up with a closing ceremony on Wednesday.
The twenty-eight junior officers; two from Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department of Montserrat, 6 from the Nevis division and 20 from the St. Kitts Division underwent eight weeks of training which were conducted by the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade, Foreign Affairs, as well as by Joseph Richardson, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police.
In giving an overview of the course, Training Coordinator, Senior Customs Officer Grade 4 Diane Henderson-Phipps outlined its objectives.
“The principle objectives of this undertaking were to impart customs knowledge through information and to create a learning environment that demonstrates techniques that will enable our junior officers to improve their ability to handle challenges in practical customs situations,” she noted.
Acting Comptroller of Customs Kennedy De Silva congratulated the officers on their achievement.
He noted what is expected of them following the 320 hours of training that they recently endured.
“Management expects to see a return on its investment—actually, we demand it. So starting next week, I expect to see some real drive coming out of the respective stations in which you will be assigned,” De Silva said. “I expect to see more questioning of the rules and not just blind complacency. I expect a higher detection of threats whether they are fiscal in nature or illegal importation.”
The top overall performers for the course were Peaches Powell and Quacent Edwards of the St. Kitts division in first and second place and Sherica Trotman of the Nevis division in 3rd place.
Valedictorian Peaches Powell expressed gratitude on behalf of her classmates for being given the opportunity to participate in the course.
“Here we have had a high degree of academic excellence and whether we intend to make a career at the customs and excise department or not, we will benefit from what we have learned here,” she said. “We are now set to begin our next chapter in our books.”
The 12th CCLEC course covered topics including Trade Facilitation and the Role of Customs; Diplomatic and Consular Rights and Privileges; Arrest Detention and Seizures; Criminal Investigation Awareness; Plant Quarantine and Toxic Chemicals; Ozone Depleting Substances – Montreal Protocol; Communication; Integrity; Risk Assessment; and Passenger and Baggage Search.