In supporting the fight against drug trafficking, it is paramount to take into account the current threat and to be able to determine the risks that may continue. It is furthermore necessary to support all efforts exerted in that regard, notably by other projects operating in the same region.
In this context, SEACOP and the MCBS (Multi Country Border Security) programme are joining forces to establish a partnership between Jamaica and Dominican Republic, two countries strategically located on the cocaine route from the Caribbean to Europe and Africa.
The first step of the partnership took place on 29 June 2022, during an operational meeting held in the facilities of the Jamaican Customs in Kingston between the heads of the Maritime Intelligence Units of both countries and the police experts of the projects. This initial meeting aimed to establish the roadmap towards the establishment of a strategic alliance between the two countries, including the foreseen work of a Jamaican MIU officer in Santo Domingo. The overall objective of this partnerships is to strengthen collaboration and information exchange between the two countries.
“Knowledge of each country’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses is necessary before engaging in a common fight against maritime trafficking,” explains Alfredo Diaz-Sanchez, SEACOP Regional Coordinator for Latin America, adding “this relationship is even more important given the recent increase in legal commercial cargo traffic between the Ports of the Dominican Republic and the two Kingston terminals.“
During the operational meeting, both projects highlighted the “excellent nature” of their cooperation, which has so far resulted in numerous successes in terms of training and joint activities. They also noted that such coordination is highly valued by local institutions who are able to obtain more comprehensive and continuous training, also avoiding duplication.
The meeting was followed by a visit to the Kingston Port conducted by two customs officers working at the Jamaica MIU. They outlined the security measures used at the port, as well as the fact that the Port of Kingston receives numerous motor vehicles from a number of countries to be delivered to the Caribbean islands. Contamination has been noticed using these transports, a modality that is very common between Brazil and Argentina to Europe via the Grimaldi line.