BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Security is very important when it comes to the post and that is why post offices in St. Kitts and Nevis follow international standards when conducting their daily operations, says Deputy Postmaster General of the St. Kitts and Nevis Postal Services, Darrien Veira.
Veira said that the Universal Postal Union (UPU) works with border control in every country to detect suspicious mail. He added the UPU also works closely with Customs and Transportation Security Administration agents.
According to international standards, all mail leaving a country must be scanned, said Veira.
“Since the 9/11 attack, all mails going out must be scanned,” he said. “Before we send mail on an airplane, it has to go through a scanner. Mail coming out of any country also has to follow this procedure.”
The deputy post master general said scanners must be of an accepted model and must be up-to-date.
“We can rest assured that mail leaving any port goes through due diligence checks as they are scanned,” Veira explained. “Any suspicious item is removed immediately. Unless they have the most up-to-date scanners, Posts cannot send anything out of their country unless it goes through a port with which they have a partnership with to scan their mail.”
Veira said the St. Kitts and Nevis Border Control has up-to-date scanners and software.
“We are compliant when it comes to those equipment and compliant in terms of the international standards,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Posts, Sharon Rattan, emphasized that the General Post Office (GPO) is continuously striving to meet international standards.
“For example, vehicles are outfitted so the driver does not interact with the mail or ought not to interact with the mail,” Ms. Rattan explained. “There is a grill that we have just put in. It has two locks, one for the post office and one for customs. They are little things, but they can help us to stay accountable so that we do not have any unfortunate incidents of robbery. Those are security measures.”
Ms. Rattan said that along with the vehicle outfitting, they are escorted from the airport to the GPO. She also noted mail is escorted to the pier to be transported to Nevis.
She said that another thing that is being done to meet international standards is meeting with Customs and the Commissioner of Police.
“Our next step will be to iron out and produce a booklet describing our operations,” the permanent secretary said.