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Officer rotation critical to avoid corruption in Customs — Smith

Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith

Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs, Wade Smith, has assured the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) that there are robust measures in place to eliminate corruption among his ranks.

While giving evidence before the COI recently, Smith said he had a special rotation system in place that dealt with dishonesty and fraudulent activities from members of the Customs Department.

Speaking to the effectiveness of mechanisms to prevent corruption, abuse of office, or other serious dishonesty that may take place within the Customs Department, Smith described the rotations of various officers as “mission-critical”.

“It’s mission-critical in Customs administrations to have rotations to avoid what is called ‘port shopping’, to avoid importers building relationships with Customs officers. So you have to ensure that they’re constantly rotated, they’re working with unfamiliar faces and this will lend to alleviate any sort of wrongdoing,” Smith said.

He noted that the implementation of rotations has been met with what he described as a “tremendous surge” in revenue.

The Customs boss also highlighted random audits of all stations and teams as measures being used to retard abuse and corruption in the Customs Department.

He said these measures create an environment to ensure officers are following the required guidelines.

Smith also stated that once corruption and abuse of office or other serious dishonesty is detected using the monitoring systems mentioned, the matter is referred to Internal Audit/Assurance and Enforcement Units for further investigation.

According to Smith, any type of business conducted outside regular operational procedures usually will be identified, flagged, investigated and forwarded to relevant agencies.

No reciprocity in information sharing to Customs

Smith further told the COI that, unlike other local law enforcement agencies which are often encumbered by a lack of information sharing from members of the public and intra-agency leakage, the HM Customs Department suffers no such challenge.

“Customs doesn’t have any concerns. We share information to other members of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Sometimes, in my opinion, I don’t believe those efforts are reciprocated. There is no reciprocity as it relates to that but we share information and I can only speak for Customs, we share information with our counterparts all the time. In the JTF meetings, we’re very open and we share information at all times,” Smith said.

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21 Comments

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  1. BVI Future says:

    Commissioner Smith, why were these policies not in placed before this COI investigation? Do those policies apply to everyone including your good friends?

    Like 16
  2. Who know know says:

    What about those Customs Officers who engage in activities which creates a conflict of Interest such as providing brokerage services. Just saying..

    Like 12
  3. I agree says:

    Please do tell, does it apply to you and your friends Mr. Commissioner?

    Set of jokers

    Like 11
  4. Do as you preach says:

    You need to move P**E

  5. Rubber Duck says:

    Rotation of the Commissioner and his two poodles would be a lot more effective.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  6. Tola says:

    Yes move them from beef straight to west they in one area to long. Since this corvid

  7. Wondering says:

    I wonder if Immigration also rotates their officers

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  8. Hgdgh says:

    Port and rest organizations need do that. You can’t have officers in one area for long they get too comfortable and slack

  9. BVI says:

    THE KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK, YOU OF ALL PERSON SHOULD NEVER OPEN UP UR MOUTH

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  10. Smh says:

    Why custom officers providing brokerage services? Like ain’t have enough, obviously only in the bvi you could do these slackness.

  11. hmmm says:

    need rotate the head of customs too

  12. what !!! says:

    He don’t even know when was the last rotation, same officers at their post/station for years

  13. naw says:

    rotations cannot work if the customs officer lets the person know where they will be working next. Look into that too. Same officer working and same person showing up every time…..

  14. Working environment says:

    I work there everything this man said was a l**. The only true thing was his name and where he works. He could tell sah. Pure corruption, top to bottom. Judging by the COI you really think customs clean. Lol lol. I know it will look bad on us as a people but this sh*t has to stop. He needs to go along with everyone else.

  15. Big Lie says:

    Wade should shut his *** mouth up,from the day he took the oath he start with a l**… Look at the officers he rotated in his department. Lots of … bad apples he put in the best seats. No wonder the customs ain’t catching anyone.look at who runs the marine section. Imagine the new Police commissioner done notice corrupt Cops in his camp,and the Customs commissioner haven’t acknowledge his yet. But when you,… it had to identify others who are too.greedy bu***rs. Wade need Rotating to somewhere else too. Is he the only person that can manage H.M Customs.

  16. Fools says:

    It takes a White man to come into our country for these people to talk about policies and procedures. What a shame and a disgrace.

  17. mmm says:

    One a pimp long long time.

  18. Hmmmm says:

    Yeah Asley and Jamsie Baby Boy.

  19. Oh boy says:

    Big lie I agree with you 1,000,000%. This man should be rotated out of Customs. All you there calling the Police corrupt but at least they are locking up their own but my God Customs stinks from the HEAD down. Good question. Is Wade the only person that can run customs.

  20. Bamboo says:

    I wonder rotation could do now when the horse is already out the gate. Better late than never though.

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