#Providenciales, July 19, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force hosted The Caribbean Regional Information Operations Council (CRIOC) through a week long planning session July 15th- 19th, 2019, to counter transnational threat networks operating in the Caribbean, but more specific to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.
The CRIOC delegation comprised of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Department, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), U.N. Migration Agency- Haiti, U.S. Embassy Nassau Bahamas, The Ministry of Defence -UK, The U.S North and South Command and the U.S Coastguard.
The sessions saw discussions on the Haiti Migration issue, including the causes, trends, capabilities, and current initiatives to counter illegal migration, Strategic Narrative Development & Target Audience Segmentation, how to develop strategies to counter illegal Migration and Counter Strategic Competitors, and how to create a regional Counter Illegal Migration campaign to increase RTCIPF and RBDF intelligence sharing, interoperability, coordination, and joint operations.
Dr. Ben Gochman, Chairman of CRIOC said it was a very successful week. He added, “We’ve developed a plan, ‘OPERATION STINGRAY’ to counter illegal trafficking and irregular migration through the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands waters. We came up with solutions to the said issues and we are hoping to launch in six months. We appreciate the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force for their support and participation in this initiative, we couldn’t have done it without them”.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. James Smith in commenting on the sessions said he is pleased with the work done thus far. He stated, “I am very impressed by the commitment and output by the CRIOC team that came here, combined together to take the views of everybody involved in this difficult irregular migration situation, and I am sure they are going to produce a plan that is very effective for us in the near future”.
Also speaking on the meetings, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rodney Adams said, “The efforts of our local, regional and international partners have resulted in a very positive outcome this week. This partnership confirms that through working with allies, we can certainly recognize common challenges and develop strategies to tackle the issues involved. Once implemented, ‘OPERATION STINGRAY’ will allow us to focus our resources on the issues that threaten the national security of the TCI”.
Meanwhile, the last day of the sessions saw briefs to His Excellency Governor Nigel Dakin, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson and Minister of Immigration, Hon. Vaden Delroy Williams.
Governor Nigel Dakin stated, “It is excellent that we’ve got regional partners, The United States, The United Kingdom and someone that could talk to us about the issues from Haiti because together, we stand a chance of actually doing something very serious about this very serious problem”.
The Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson said, “We are extremely grateful when we have our partners come to the Turks and Caicos Islands to help with what is one of our most challenging issues. Today is certainly a show of our support and the strength of our partnerships, who have come to the table with us to show the Turks and Caicos that we are serious about irregular migration. It is a serious issue that we are going to take head-on and it is something we are looking for support, not just from global and regional partners but from the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as it is certainly in the best interest of our country.”
Release: TCI Police