Officers from The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the Immigration Department have been trained to better identify fraudulent documents and human trafficking following a two-day training course on the Prevention and Detection of Fraud held at the Police Training School Nov. 26-27.
Organized by the Embassy of the United States of America’s Regional Security Office (RSO), some thirty members of the police force and Immigration Department took part. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agent Ashley Wright, Criminal Fraud Investigator, Rodney Holder and Investigative Assistant, Richard Smith facilitated the training.
“Over the past two days what we taught was the basics of human trafficking — how to identify it, how to respond to it as a first point of contact,” Special Agent Wright said.“Since travel documents have become more secure, the likelihood of somebody altering or creating a fake document is lowered. So, it’s more likely that people would just pretend to just be somebody else using a valid document. We wanted to teach our law enforcement colleagues how to spot somebody that’s pretending to be somebody that they aren’t.”
Wright said that the DSS worked along with immigration officials, the police and other travel industry authorities to help them identify patterns in fraud.
Wright also noted there have been a few notable cases in recent years where DSS has worked with authorities in various countries of the Eastern Caribbean on impersonators and fraudulent documents. This year, prevention and detection of fraud training was also conducted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Lucia and Barbados.
“Hands on training like this — distinguishing fraudulent documents from real ones, identifying imposters — not only makes our countries more secure, but in the end can save the lives of individuals who really need help,” Wright said.