Potential threats within the Caribbean is discussed at IMO conference to highlight risks to port security operations
The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) took part in a three-day conference in Belize City looking at identifying and dealing with potential threats to port security operations at the Belizean ports.
The event was organised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in conjunction with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) based on the framework of the Agreement of Co-operation between the IMO and the Organization of the American States (0AS).
Port State Control Officer at the MAJ Lieutenant Commander Leighton Miller spoke at the event where he highlighted that Caribbean nations are ideally geographically located as an important transhipment centre.
He went on to explain that this geographical advantage also serves for the illegal activities within the maritime transportation system.
Criminal activity within the region remains a significant threat, particularly for ships and ports, with drug cartels regularly using the Caribbean as a mode of transit because of its geographic layout, he explained.
Lieutenant Commander Miller cited an example of how in June this year, 64 kilogrammes of cocaine was seized in containers at Kingston Freeport Terminal in Jamaica.
Due to the illicit drug trade he warned that easy access to firearms, organized crime and the region’s maritime transportation system makes the Caribbean a vulnerable target to terrorists.
The workshop was held with the aim to demonstrate the importance of collaboration in strengthening Belize’s port authority framework.
Source: Maritime Authority of Jamaica