U.S. Coast Guard, Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force co-hosted the 7th Multilateral Maritime Interdiction and Prosecution Summit (MMIPS) in the Port of Spain, Trinidad on October 29 and 30.
The mission of the MMIPS is to foster in-depth discussions on the regional awareness of illicit maritime threats, highlight multinational cooperation, and capture critical prosecutorial challenges in an effort to sustain national stability of key regional partners. Presentations and discussions were focused on the various topics pertaining to the Caribbean region, including drug trafficking, human smuggling, human trafficking and illegal fishing.
Mr. Richard Glenn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Air Commodore Darryl Daniel, Chief of Defence Staff, Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force, highlighted Day 1 remarks. They captured the recent successes of Caribbean nations’ fight against drug cartels and other criminal networks, and called for continued cooperation of key regional partners as the geo-political climate continues to shift in the region. Rear Admiral Eric Jones, USCG Seventh District Commander, highlighted Day 2 remarks by emphasizing expansion of existing multilateral maritime agreements to bolster interdiction and prosecution efforts to counter the multi-faceted illicit trafficking threats throughout the Caribbean basin.
“This conference provides an excellent forum to discuss innovative ways in which we can improve our collaborative efforts to deter and combat traffickers seeking to use our ports and waters to smuggle drugs, people, weapons, and other illicit cargoes,” said Rear Adm. Eric Jones, 7th District commanding officer. “This includes modernizing bilateral and multilateral agreements to counter multiple illicit threats. The increased teamwork between our countries will ensure consequences are delivered to illicit traffickers.”
The 7th MMIPS was the largest summit to date, with nearly 120 professionals in attendance from operational and legal communities representing 15 countries across the Central and Eastern Caribbean, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Since its inception in 2014, the MMIPS continues to support key elements of the U.S. State Department’s Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy.