Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2020 (SKNIS): Customs officers from St. Kitts-Nevis Customs Excise Department, said whenever necessary, the department collaborates with other agencies to aid in overall law enforcement within the Federation.

This was stated by Assistant Comptroller of Customs for Investigations, Elmar Martines, during the weekly radio and television show “Working for You” on January 29, 2020.

Mr. Martines said, “we render assistance to each other for the common goal of fulfilling our mandate as crime fighters.”

He also said that joint operations with both the St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts Nevis Coast Guard are conducted occasionally.

The Assistant Comptroller said “Officers of the Customs Enforcement Unit are part of the Task Force; for example, from time to time we render K9 assistance to the Police.

“In relation to criminal cases … the Customs Investigative Unit liaises with the crown counsel and the police prosecutors of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) office for advice and guidance because they have the expertise,” Assistant Comptroller Martines said.

He highlighted that “this is done so we do not jeopardise these cases with legal implications.”

Customs Senior 4, Courier Operations Manager, Jervin Nisbett, added that the Customs Department “perform agency functions for health, veterinary services, port authority … bureau of standards, agriculture and fisheries.”

He gave an example of the law enforcement function with respect to plant crops.

“We are responsible for making sure that the agriculture department is there to do their job and we will stop you (the importer) and your plants until agriculture can give that all clear,” Mr. Nisbett said.