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The Saint Lucia Customs and Excise Department is seeking to forge new partnerships against illegal gun trafficking.
Customs Comptroller Sherman Emmanuel explained that the move was in keeping with improving border security.
” Tightening the noose on the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons is certainly an area in which we are working to forge new partnerships,” Emmanuel stated.
The Customs Comptroller said his department would also leverage key partnerships to build greater capacity to impact all its strategic areas.
He spoke as the Saint Lucia Customs and Excise Department joined other World Customs Organization (WCO) members in celebrating International Customs Day.
The Saint Lucia Customs Department has planned a week of activities to mark the occasion.
The activities began on Monday.
The global theme for the observance is ‘Customs – Engaging Traditional and New Partnerships With Purpose.’
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have blamed a spike in homicides on gang violence fueled by trafficking in firearms from the United States to the region.
However, insufficient data has made it difficult to estimate the extent of the US role.
Last year, Saint Lucia recorded seventy-five homicides, seventy of which the police classified as murders.
Most of the murders that occurred in 2023 were the direct result of gang violence and gang rivalry.
And so far, for 2024, Saint Lucia has recorded seven murders.
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