The Border Protection Unit (BPU) of the Jamaica Customs Department became operational in April 2009. The main objective of the Unit is to enable the overall Customs Department to be more proactive in its approach to eliminating or reducing illegal activities which threatens the stability and economy of the country and to increase revenue collection.
The Border Protection Unit plays an important role in the Country’s overall security through the interdiction of illicit drugs and firearms while at the same time combating instances if Intellectual Property Right infringements, Lottery Scamming, Money laundering and other general trade corruption.
To achieve this, a structure was put in place that will aggressively investigate those who seek to exploit the weaknesses of our border and its security coverage.
This Unit is, therefore, highly intelligence driven and is built around a structure which will facilitate proper intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination in a confidential and controlled environment to a well trained operational team.
The Unit is comprised of six sections:
- The Contraband Enforcement Team (CET)
- Intelligence Analysis
- Risk Management Unit
- Cargo Imaging and
- Internal Affairs and is led by an Assistant Commissioner.
The Intelligence Analysis Unit performs as the “Information Hub” of Border Protection is responsible for the analyzing and conversion of information into actionable intelligence that is mainly consumed by the Contraband Enforcement Team, the wider Border Protection and Customs operations in the fight against illicit activities affecting our borders.
The Investigation Unit is responsible for the investigating matters or cases of alleged breaches of customs laws and regulations, as well as matters relating to proceeds of crime. This Unit works closely with the Intelligence Analysts Unit, Contraband Enforcement Team and Customs operations.
Similar to the Investigation Unit, the Internal Affairs Unit is task with investigation of alleged breaches of customs laws and regulations by Customs personnel. Internal Affairs has a responsibility to ensure that the integrity of Customs personnel is maintained through investigations.
The success of Customs administration worldwide depends on an effective Risk Management Unit and system. The Risk Management Unit is responsible for the planning, organizing and implementation of long-term and short-term strategic risk plans and programs that will allow for the identification of imports and exports that represent the greatest risk of non-compliance.
The Border Protection Unit, Customs operation and the nation benefit greatly by the task performed by the Cargo Imaging Unit. The Unit interprets scanned images and refers for the appropriate Customs control, images that have anomalies and are deemed high risk.
The Contraband Enforcement Team is referred to as the operational arm of the Border Protection Unit. Their main task in collaboration with the other Units within BPU is to anticipate, pre-empt, detect and deter threats to our Borders. Additional responsibilities are to seize contraband and illegal imports and exports. The Unit operates on a 24/7 basis at the major air and seaports and their operations are mainly intelligence driven.
In unity there is strength” and agencies reinforce each other, share information and resources, for more effective outcome of separate activities. The trafficking of dangerous drugs and weapon is not a local problem but rather international in scope. Trafficking gangs and organizations do not confine their activity to any specific geographic boundary.
Intelligence gathering and dissemination assists in identifying all levels of criminal trafficking organization it is therefore essential for coordination and to prevent duplication of effort. Accordingly, the Border Protection Unit works in tandem with local agencies and International agencies to achieve better results.
Border Protection & You
The Border Protection Unit welcomes any information deemed necessary for the detection, deterrence, seizure of contraband, illegal imports and exports, illegal activities and suspicious persons.
Mail: Jamaica Customs Agency
Border Protection Unit,
Newport West, Kingston 15
Fax : (876) 948-7551
Tel. : (876) 922-5140 (Ext. 3401-3405) or ( 876) 922-1626 or ( 876) 898-8240
Since inception the BPU has successfully prosecuted cases, undertaken operations with local and international partners and made seizures worth of millions of dollars in contraband goods.