Hinds boasts of headway in anti-trafficking activities

Entornointeligente.com /

Chester Sam­bra­no

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Fitzger­ald Hinds is boast­ing that the two re­cent­ly ac­quired pa­trol ves­sels for the T&T Coast Guard are mak­ing traf­fick­ing in­to this coun­try dif­fi­cult.

The TTS Scar­bor­ough and the TTS Port of Spain ar­rived in this coun­try from Aus­tralia on Ju­ly 6 2021.

The two Cape-Class Coast Guard ves­sels cost US$38.6 mil­lion each.

Hinds said the im­pact of the ves­sels on the work against drugs, weapons and hu­man traf­fick­ing has been very pos­i­tive.

In fact, the min­is­ter point­ed to a re­cent state­ment of a vic­tim of hu­man traf­fick­ing who said that the mere pres­ence of the new ves­sels in the wa­ters cre­at­ed chal­lenges for crim­i­nals.

«They were plan­ning to come in­to Trinidad one par­tic­u­lar evening and hav­ing learnt that the Coast Guard had ac­quired these ves­sels and in fact had been present in the zone on that oc­ca­sion they backed off.»

Hinds de­scribed the ves­sels as pay­ing off «hand­some­ly».

He said in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tors are gath­er­ing that the traf­fick­ers, «haven’t stopped their op­er­a­tions but they have be­gun to move as we move.»

The min­is­ter was speak­ing at the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween this coun­try and the Eu­ro­pean Union (EU) for an ini­tia­tive called SEA­COP V.

The aim of the project is to ad­dress chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by or­gan­ised crime traf­fick­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly co­caine.

SEA­COP V is one of sev­en projects un­der the EU Com­mis­sion-fund­ed co­caine route pro­gramme.

It is meant to en­hance in­ter­na­tion­al co­op­er­a­tion in tack­ling traf­fick­ing in the transat­lantic co­caine route, which is be­tween West Africa, Latin Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean.

SEA­COP ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude the cre­ation of in­ter-agency units at key ports, the es­tab­lish­ment of mar­itime in­for­ma­tion sys­tems to pro­mote in­for­ma­tion shar­ing be­tween coun­tries and the es­tab­lish­ment of joint ma­rine con­trol units and mar­itime units.

With im­proved in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, Hinds said there will be reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing of ves­sels, in­clud­ing fish­ing ves­sels and plea­sure crafts.

He re­vealed that the pro­grammes pri­or to this one have yield­ed suc­cess with sev­er­al co­caine seizures be­ing made.

The min­is­ter al­so re­vealed that a sim­i­lar pro­gramme called AIR­COP was re­cent­ly ap­proved by the Cab­i­net.

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LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian

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