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Aug 20, 2020

Will Charge Against Customs Officer Affect Interagency Relationship?

Colin Griffith

The sequenced of events started on Wednesday when Robert Flowers and Deon Castillo were first to be charged criminally for the tugboat. That voyage, according to the police, was illegal under the new regulations because the vessel was supposed to travel through the Port only for commerce. Comptroller Colin Griffith was quick to deny any wrongdoing on the part of his officer and found the charge unwarranted.  Griffith noted on Wednesday that the AJ Ellis had made sixteen trips to Honduras since the S.O.E. as a compliant trader and so they had no reason to believe that it was for another purpose because the operator Banana Enterprise didn’t disclose that. Griffith didn’t mince words about the situation – saying how disappointed he was about the charge against the officer.


Colin Griffith, Comptroller, Customs & Excise Department

“For a while, I was lost for words in that I can never countenance how is it we could reach where we are. Enforcement agencies have always been able to sit together and resolve issues and if there are matters to be address administratively, we address those matters administratively. I personally called the Commissioner early this afternoon asking if there could be a sort of stay of execution for us to discuss this matter, but he informed that it was out of his hands. But it is clearly now in the hands of the customs administration and there is no way I am the Comptroller of Customs could not sit and express my displeasure, my complete disgust with this situation and my support for my officer. It has sent ripples through the Customs Department and the other agency. I just got off the phone with an individual from immigration. It is, for me it’s a real bad day for the public service.”



“Will this affect interagency partnership?”


Colin Griffith
“No, this will not affect the professional relationship that exists between the Customs Department and the Police Department. We will and must continue to work together. The Custom Department will continue to perform its enforcement duties. It is amazing how Covid-19 has brought in the forefront this problem that we have been battling for years. I will not get in to all the details of conspiracy with other agencies, but it is great that you all could recognize the challenge that the Customs Department has had in battling contraband.  As I said, I spoke with commissioner Williams earlier today. I continue to have a good communication line with him. I hope to get more calls in relation to some of the other issues that we have to address some matters. But it will not in any way affect our relationship with the Police Department.”

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