April 27, 2021 – The Minister of Home Affairs, and current Chair of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) of CARICOM, the Honourable Robeson Benn, chaired a meeting between CARICOM Member States and representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) via virtual conferencing on Wednesday 21st April, 2021.
The meeting was attended by Ministers and Senior Representatives with responsibility for National Security of CARICOM Member States. The Executive Director of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jones.
Firearms trafficking in the CARICOM Region was reviewed and approaches to urgently deal with the issue and its related manifestations were identified as follows:
- Implementation of the Regional Roadmap for Addressing Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean by 2030;
- Collaboration with regional stakeholders such as CARICOM IMPACS to facilitate training and capacity building for Member States;
- Collaboration with international stakeholders such as the ATF and HIS who deal with transnational organized crime; and
- Optimizing the use of the Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (RIBIN) and E-Trace.
The operationalization of the CARICOM GUN CRIME INTELLIGENCE CENTER (CGIC) was given high priority. The opportunities for training, intelligence gathering and sharing with the ATF and HIS were discussed along with the deployment of intelligence officials to and within the CARICOM Region.