The Immigration Department within the Ministry of National Security and Labour now have in their possession a foster + freeman eye – D/C1, a compact portable device for checking security and travel documents at the border.
The lightweight equipment, valued at EC$ 10,000, is the only one of its kind in the OECS. It was handed over to Minister of National Security & Labour Sen. the Hon. Dr. L. Errol Cort and members of the Immigration Department on Monday morning by Daniel Carruthers, second secretary of the British High Commission in Barbados.
Mr. Carruthers said that today’s presentation was a part of the United Kingdom’s efforts to bolster international border control and security in light of their hosting of the Olympics games in a few weeks and being conscious of the increasing international security needs.
He added that the UK has had a close working relationship with the Antiguan and Barbudan Immigration Service and as a small token of that working relationship he was delighted to be able to contribute the new piece of equipment.
Minister Cort accepted the device on behalf of the Immigration Department saying the Government of Antigua and Barbuda was very happy that the UK Government has seen it fit to donate such a valuable piece of equipment to the Immigration Department.
He acknowledged the close working relationship the Department has had with the UK Border Services, when last year members of the local Immigration team were able to spend a week in the UK observing their operations, and as recently as last month the Immigration Department was able to facilitate a staff member of the British High Commission being stationed there to conduct various immigration matters.
The eye – D/C1 is designed to check standard security features in travel documents and can be deployed to improve national and border security and will be based at the V.C. Bird International Airport. However, as Dr. Cort pointed out, it can also be utilized by other departments within the Ministry such as the Passport and Citizen Office, who currently send documents to IMPACS for verification.