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Gov’t, UK collaborating to train immigration officers

The Government with assistance from the United Kingdom (UK), is training immigration officers in several areas to better protect and enhance Guyana’s immigration system.

Some of the participants at the training at the Police Officers’ Training Centre

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, at the opening session today, at the Police Officers’ Training Centre, said the training is timely and necessary since there is frequent movement of persons between territories.

The Minister added that the role of staff of the immigration department is to be vigilant to protect the immigration system. “This training is just to reinforce government’s policy, to provide the highest quality of service to the public and to visitors whether they come to tour or with skills for Guyana’s development. We must view this training in terms of what we are doing to harden our passport against fraudulent activities,” Minister Felix explained.

The Minister further explained that the UK, through High Commissioner of Great Britain, Greg Quinn has agreed to assist the Guyana Government to upgrade the skills of the immigration officers and for them to leave a lasting impression on visitors and passengers.

Minister Felix indicated that often persons attempt to transport illicit substances including cocaine and even traffic persons. He noted that this must be identified and stopped at the immigration level.

The Minister of Citizenship urged the participants to use the information provided to improve their attitude as this would enhance Guyana’s immigration department’s efficiency.

Meanwhile, High Commissioner Quinn pointed out that the UK has been supporting Guyana for years. Quinn said the UK’s assistance has been provided by the national crime agency, but there are other areas of assistance where the UK’s experience could be helpful, hence the training.

The High Commissioner stated that the training will cover several issues but the fundamental ones have to do with, “firstly the overview of human trafficking and how important (is) the immigration service of the police force… secondly  to help enhance existing forgeries and interviewing  skills of you the immigration officers, to allow you to deal with arriving passengers in line with immigration policy, and thirdly to give you an increased awareness of the latest trends and concerns in the wider Caribbean region.”

The training formally ends on March 23, 2017. (GINA)