ATF To Help T&T Fight Illegal Trafficking

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

UNITED States officials from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are in Trinidad and Tobago to assist the Ministry of National Security in deterring the trafficking of illegal goods.

On Friday, Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds met with Chief of the ATF International Affairs Division (IAD) Joshua Rusk, Deputy Chief of the ATF IAD Jason Tortorici and ATF Agent, who will be posted to Trinidad and Tobago, Michael Graham.

They were introduced to Hinds by Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy Shante Moore.

The National Security Ministry in a press release stated that the meeting was an opportunity for the minister to discuss prospects to further bilateral security collaboration between the two countries, in significant areas of mutual interest. 

Hinds welcomed the ATF team to T&T and committed support for the ATF initiatives and activities that will be carried out in this country, to stem the trafficking of illicit guns and firearms. 

The minister thanked the ATF for the technical support committed, indicating that he looked forward to a fruitful collaboration between the organisation and T&T’s law enforcement agencies, the ministry stated.

 The ATF team stated that their main objective will be to support the agencies of the Ministry of National Security, in efforts against the illicit trafficking in firearms, through the provision of operational support, knowledge and information sharing, as well as capacity-building initiatives.

The ATF informed the Minister that it will also support the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), as it strengthened capacity and policies to counter the illicit trafficking in firearms in the Caribbean Basin. 

Also in attendance were Deputy Director, International Affairs Unit, Ministry of National Security, Retired Major Richard Lynch, and International Affairs Officer Anthony J Phillips-Spencer.


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