Chair of the Joint Task Force, Commissioner of Customs Mr Wade N. Smith said the operation was carried out on September 12, 2021, and targeted persons suspected to be in the Territory illegally.
According to a press release from Government Information Service (GIS), Mr Smith thanked the members of the teams for their diligence in planning and executing another successful operation. “Operations such as these, prove that when our law enforcement agencies share intelligence and work together there is greater success,” he said.
Chief Immigration Officer Mr Ian B. Penn, according to the press release, said a total of 45 persons were investigated to verify their compliance with the immigration laws of the Territory, with three persons being found to have immigration-related issues that warranted the issuance of a summons.
Mr Penn said, “It is important for persons throughout the Territory to be aware that the Immigration Department with the assistance of the other agencies of the Joint Task Force will continue to carry out operations of this kind, not only to eradicate illegal activity in our communities but to apprehend persons found guilty of residing illegally in our Territory.”
The success of the operation was further cemented with the arrest of two individuals wanted by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Acting Head of the Virgin Gorda Police Division Saif Kaddoura said the Joint Task Force made its presence known in the Virgin Gorda community over the weekend and there was a notable appreciation for the operation even by those who were being checked.
Kaddoura added, “The operation sent a strong, reassuring message to the Virgin Gorda community that the Joint Task Force stands in maintaining law and order. People felt reassured and safer because of it.”
The Joint Task Force is made up of officers from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty’s Customs and the Immigration Department.