Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2020 (SKNIS): The Customs Enforcement Division of St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department will benefit from a brand new enforcement building when it is completed in March 2020, said Elmar Martines, Assistant Comptroller of Customs for Investigations.

“The enforcement building is equipped with an underground water cistern; barracks for officers; an area designated for gym; holding cells; interview and observation rooms, and of course office space… there is also a recreational area,” said Mr. Martines. “This is a building where we would be able to work more efficiently as it regards enforcing our laws.”

The building, which is in its final stages of completion, “is designed to be operational during and immediately after emergency situations like hurricanes and other natural disasters that may affect us.”

During an address to commence International Customs Day on January 26, 2020, Senior Minister the Honourable Vance Amory, spoke about the improved physical environment of the Customs and Excise Department.

The Enforcement Unit of the Customs Department is growing, both in mandate and duties. Already they have become a key element in our nation’s security by assigning enforcement officers to the anti-gang unit where they have played a critical role in patrols and key operations. As the Customs Enforcement Unit grows and intermixes with other law enforcement agencies such as the Defence Force (Coast Guard) and Police it needs a proper base of operations,” said Senior Minister Amory.

“My government has seen it fit to build an Enforcement Building where the different units such as Investigations, Intelligence, Risk Management, Marine Unit, K9 team etc., can be housed. This building I am informed will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020. These are important initiatives and are progressive in nature,” Senior Minister Amory added.

The enforcement building is among several initiatives to be rolled out by the department in 2020. Other initiatives include an induction course for new officers, as well as the introduction of a second X-ray scanner for use at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport.