Customs officers undergo nefarious financing awareness training

A group of Customs and Border Control officers undergo training as part of five one-day educational workshops.

Customs and Border Control officers attended five, one-day training sessions earlier this month to better track and deal with specific kinds of financial crimes that they could encounter at entry and exit points in the Cayman Islands.

This includes, for instance, incoming and outgoing financial activities such as the transportation of undeclared, large sums of cash or bearer negotiable instruments.

Customs and Border Control Director Charles Clifford said the training was in response to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) mutual evaluation report that resulted in the Cayman Islands being placed on a 12-month observation period.

Director Clifford noted the awareness training had been previously delivered to new employees as part of the department’s training strategy. “We are focussed on providing training and pertinent knowledge and development for our officers, who are border control agents at entry and exit points of the Cayman Islands such as at airports and seaports, so that they are well equipped to deal with standing procedures and key processes,” he said.

“And we will continue to ensure our officers constantly improve their skills to remain vigilant as they undertake to uphold all the procedures in place for protecting our borders, and the people of the Cayman Islands, against increasingly sophisticated crimes.”

The training sessions were conducted by the Customs and Border Control training unit with trainers from several government agencies. They included CBC’s Deputy Director (Training), Marlon Bodden and Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Compliance Officer, Martin Bodden Jr; the head of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit, Francis Arana; Duwayne Lawrence, senior policy analyst in the Attorney General’s Chambers; and Financial Reporting Authority’s Cayman Islands Sanctions Coordinator, Kim France.

Compliance officer Bodden said the officers received training to increase awareness and sensitisation in handling border control-related procedures for currency transportation, anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

They were also trained to better deal with people arriving from jurisdictions that currently face international sanctions, such as Iran or North Korea.