The strength of the territory’s border security is often questioned, and residents have expressed concerns that local border security personnel are either undermanned or under-equipped to prevent smugglers from entering the BVI.
Despite the criticism, Premier Fahie has hailed the efforts of local law enforcement personnel; particularly Customs Officers.
“Some persons have tried or continue to define your performance by one or two instances where you may have come up just below the mark. But some totally ignore your successes which far outweigh the gaps. Law enforcement teams across various agencies deserve credit for keeping the borders of the Virgin Islands secure. Customs officers, you deserve the credit along with other members of the Joint Task Force,” Premier Fahie said.
Fahie was speaking on March 5 at a dedication event for MV Searcher — the new vessel government secured for Customs.
He said the additional vessel will strengthen the work that Customs officers and the Joint Security Task Force are doing at sea.
Premier Fahie also said it was the local government that secured funding for the new vessel. Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith thanked the government and said MV Searcher will bolster the territory’s efforts at sea.
With the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s recently acquired vessel, Midnight Express, Smith said: “The Virgin Islands law enforcement agencies’ marine capabilities are second to none in the region.”
“Combined, the replacement value of these assets can be in the vicinity of $2.5 to $3 million,” the Customs boss added.
In the meantime, six additional officers are also being added to Her Majesty’s Customs. Premier Fahie said the new recruits are going through the final approval processes with the government’s Human Resources department.
Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.