- CSA denied that the Customs Officers were on strike Wednesday
- Customs and Excise Department announced the closure of services Thursday for staff meeting
- “This is a very low-hanging fruit mentality government,” says a security expert.
By a Special Correspondent
GROS ISLET, St Lucia – The drive-by shooting of a customs officer in Saint Lucia, on Tuesday, has jolted ‘authorities’ to a semblance of action, albeit belated, yet, they are still focused talking unintelligently on crime-fighting solutions.
The prime minister and minister for national security, Philip Pierre, yesterday, publicly admitted ‘not knowing the facts and not being briefed’ – however, the government now seemingly pledges to do all in its power to remedy the out-of-control crime and lawlessness that has been left to hypnotise the country.
Indifferent to ongoing murders, rape, suicide, robbery and vehicular accidents the ‘authorities’ have been mute. Many argue and comment on the none response and lack of human and verbal sensitivity – that one murder, one rape, one allegation/acquisition of sexual harassment, etc, is one too many.
However, with the incident surrounding the customs officer, something has happened! A change and solutions are on the horizon. The spirit of Saint Teresa: The true embodiment of mercy and compassion.
“Why it happened, I do not know. The only information that I have … it happened. I have not been briefed by the commissioner (of police) or anybody else.” Hitherto the prime minister and national security, advised: “We are going to do what even we can do … whatever is possible we can do …. to ensure the protection of customs officers. “As to the details, I am not a security expert, so I can’t tell you anything about the details…”
In a request for comment, Caribbean News Global (CNG) reached out to a security expert who stated:
“This is a very low-hanging fruit mentality government.”
Meanwhile, following abrupt meetings with customs officers and multiple service interruptions – the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) denied that the Customs Officers were on strike Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Customs and Excise Department announced the closure of services Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 1:00 pm to facilitate a staff meeting.
The closure of services affected La Place Carenage Units, Shed 6, the General Post Office, the Ferry Terminal, West Indies Shipping, Marigot, Rodney Bay Marina, West Tech Shipping, UPS, Shop Box, Soufriere and Vieux Fort.
In a show of solidarity and governance, the government is better advised that The Customs and Excise Department is central to government revenue collection, and the expected 2.5 percent health and security levy – to provide much-needed equipment and personnel.
The 2.5 percent levy is expected to generate at least XCD33 million, reports the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM):
“The revenue generated by prime minister Pierre’s health and citizen security levy will give the government the financial latitude to provide quality healthcare services to the public and reinforce the national security infrastructure.”