Immigration Chief appeals for help to protect borders

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Antigua & Barbuda’s chief immigration officer said the country is in need of intervention from international crime-fighting partners to address a lack of resources to police the country’s porous borders.
Annette Mark said that although local law enforcement officers are working hard, the geographic location of the country makes their work harder as smugglers of drugs and other contraband will continue to try to take advantage of it.
“Our borders are porous; Antigua & Barbuda is not the only island that suffers from this where we have porous borders. Unfortunately, our small island states also suffer from lack of resources and it does require intervention from other agencies who we work with to assist our islands with the resources that will help us to monitor our borders,” she said.
Her comments come in the wake of the discovery, on Tuesday afternoon, of $1.6 million worth of marijuana buried in the sand at Long Bay. Along with the 411 pounds of drugs, the police K 9 Unit dug up two guns — a 9 mm Colt, a 9 mm Glock  — and 94 rounds of ammunition.
Prior to that discovery, three Venezuelan men and another man from the Dominican Republic were caught at Long Bay shortly after they allegedly entered the country illegally on a boat.
No contraband was found on them.
There are also reports that a boat with 11 more Venezuelans passed through Antigua’s waters this week, and then went on to Guadeloupe where they were allegedly caught, a police source told OBSERVER media.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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