The first ever Customs officials trained on the marine profession were sent off last October 5 during a solemn graduation ceremony chaired at the Douala Naval Base by the Director General of Customs, Fongod Edwin. Baptized as the Operation HALCOMI batch (stop illicit maritime trade), the 62 Customs officials were trained for six weeks on sea profession at the specialized technical centre of the National Navy in Douala.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director General of Cameroon Customs explained that this new concept is fruits of a partnership convention signed on August 11, 2015 between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defence relating to surveillance of water by customs officials.
While congratulating the pioneer batch on behalf of Finance Minister, Alamine Ousmane Mey, the Director General of Customs, Fongod Edwin used the occasion to announce that some 300 new Customs elements will be trained on the marine profession before the year 2016 runs out.
He explained that Cameroon Customs and the National Navy decided to federate their policies and actions (human, material and financial means) in order to better tackle fresh threats on maritime transport, external trade and security of the territory.
The Customs boss further said “we hope through joint interventions to fight against customs fraud, share necessary information relating to surveillance activities, put in place organs for follow up of joint activities, programme and finance joint operations in the field, organize training and refresher courses of both corps.”
Speaking earlier, the Head of the National Navy, Contre-Amiral, Mendoua Jean reassured Customs Director General, Fongod Edwin of their constant collaboration in the realization of their mission. He said the training of these customs officials ushers in a new era of multi-sector effective cooperation in the sea.
Results of cooperation between Cameroon Customs and the National Navy over the last two months were described as eloquent and exemplary with the seizure of more than 100 000 litres of fuel, more than 50 000 litres of oil, more than 5000 bags of rice attempted to be fraudulently exported, more than 2000 palettes of beer and fruit juice, more than 1000 palettes of milk products and hundreds of cartons of other contraband products.
The Sun Newspaper