Immigration, Customs officers undergoing training for CWC
January 23, 2007
IMMIGRATION and Customs officers have begun training in several relevant areas to detect illegal activities that may affect Guyana’s security arrangements as the country prepares to host Cricket World Cup.
Twelve officers yesterday began five days of training in the mechanics of the advance passenger information system, trafficking in persons and smuggling, and the CARICOM visa arrangement, among several other issues that may arise from the influx of visitors for the major international cricket tournament.
The Government Information Agency (GINA) said acting Commissioner of Customs and Trade Administration, Ms. Ingrid Griffith urged participants on the course to be extra vigilant in order to curb illegal activities.
“Border security is everyone’s business and we should try to enhance our borders because there will be unwanted elements that you will have to focus on,” Griffith said.
According to GINA, Deputy Chief Immigration Officer George Vyphius said Immigration and Customs officials must have a common understanding of what is expected of them if Guyana is to successfully secure its borders during the CWC matches.
“Do not take this training lightly. We must talk, sleep, everything we set out to do must be related to CWC…from February 1, the host countries for CWC will become a single space and in order for Guyana to be part of this space we must be security-ready,” Vyphius stressed.
GINA said Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee for CWC, Mr. Karran Singh urged Immigration officers to extend courtesy to all visitors expected for CWC.
The agency recalled that on December 18 last, Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Slowe had indicated that Guyana, among other host countries, will be receiving assistance for border security from the International Security Assistance Group (ISAG), set up by CARICOM.
A CARICOM Resource Mobilisation Committee on cricket headed by Minister of National Security in Jamaica, Dr. Peter Phillips, is coordinating with a UK-based team which has gained valuable experience from the Athens Olympics, it said.
Together they are expected to approach the international community for assistance for foreign engagements in the region for CWC 2007, the agency said.