Recently Customs and Immigration departments at the Maurice Bishop International Airport, received a letter from the Security Manager demanding that Customs and Immigration Officers be searched and scanned before taking up their duties.
Immigration and Customs are law enforcement departments who are being searched and scanned by security officers.
Both Immigration and Customs are governed by laws that are completely being ignored by this act. This could not be more disrespectful.
The Customs Act 9 of 2015 States in section 15 subsection 2 (a) A person in control of a customs airport shall permit a proper officer at any time to enter upon and inspect that Customs airport and all building and goods on it.
Customs Officers by law should not be checked before entering a Customs Control Area.
On the other hand, isn’t the Royal Grenada Police Force of which Immigration and Drug Squad units are a part of the highest order of National Security?
On a daily basis Immigration and Customs officers, even those at the highest ranks are ridiculed and disrespected by these security officers. Some Officers resort to eating their lunch outside as they seek to open personal lunch bowls.
It is very clear that Immigration and Customs serve little or no treat as they have limited direct contact with outgoing passengers and their baggage.
Often times passengers make comments as to how disrespectful it is for security officers to search Customs and Immigration officers.
With all this being said, let’s remember that these said security officers have been arrested and charged on many different occasions by the Drug Squad unit for drug trafficking related offenses.
To date, there are two security officers on bail for drug related charges. How can you put the cat to watch the cheese?
These security officers enter and exit their workstations without being checked by anyone.
When Immigration and Customs Officers engaged Mr. Richards concerning this matter it was said that a big, big man in government said to do so.
To this date, Customs Officers have not heard from any member of its own administration concerning this matter.
As for Immigration all the head of the department said was, “Please comply”.
Even if the search and scan was authorised by this big, big man in government, every effort should be made to engage Immigration and Customs officers since they are furious and frustrated to take up duties at the airport.
Please sir, the officers need some clarity on this matter.