St. Lucia looking to beef up border security

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Apr 7, CMC – Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced plans for the creation of a Border Control entity which he says has become “an absolute priority” for his administration.
Chastanet made the announcement Thursday at a ceremony during which the United States handed over equipment to the Crown Prosecutions Service.
Outlining measures to beef up the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), Chastanet explained that the proposed Border Control entity would result in the Customs and Excise Department absorbing immigration and the Marine Police.
“In essence we will become like the US and some other countries in having a Coast Guard rather than having a Marine Police station,” Chastanet said, adding that he found it amazing when his government took office in June last year that none of the Island’s Coast Guard boats were functioning.
“The two radar systems that we had set up, neither one of them was working – it was almost as if there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the safety of Saint Lucians,” Chastanet said, adding that he was happy to report that two boats were now operational and another two are expected to be in service soon.
Chastanet revealed that the radar systems were not fully functional noting that a few weeks ago the radar systems were very useful in helping the authorities track people coming into St. Lucia.
 “I am giving the assurances to St. Lucians, I am also giving assurances to our neighbours that the days that St. Lucia can be considered a low fence for drug lords to come here and to transport their goods through St. Lucia on our planes or to Martinique, that is going to become much more difficult moving forward.”.
Chastanet said he was very much looking forward to the support of the United States, Britain, Canada and Europe in assisting St. Lucia to deliver on that promise.

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