Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has absorbed sixty (60) personnel into its Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), after going through three-weeks of certification at the hands of Ghana Army’s premier Special Forces – 64 Infantry Regiment (64 Inf Regt), under the aegis of the National Counter-Terrorism Fusion Centre of the National Security Ministry.
The 18-day training, which commenced on Tuesday 21 June and ended on Friday 8 July, 2022, at the Asutsuare Training Camp, Greater Accra Region, had the trainees (which included 5 females) undergo intensive skills development, which they displayed at the closing ceremony.
The Guest-of-Honour for the closing ceremony – Assistant Commissioner, Preventive, George Tettey, who represented the Commissioner, Customs Division of GRA – Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, reminded the team of the essence of their setup and training.
Mr Tettey stated that the threat posed by Violent Extremism (VE) and terrorist activities to Ghana, has assumed a very imminent state in recent times, considering happenings in neighbouring countries, as the expansion of the threat is exponentially closing up towards Ghana’s borders.
He averred that the VE threats call for a more preventive approach and as a frontline security agency, Customs must ensure to work as a team and collaborate with relevant state institutions in intelligence gathering at the borders, to help counter any attempts by terrorists to carry out their activities.
Reminding the graduands of the significance of their role in the National Framework for Preventing VE and Terrorism, the Assistant Commissioner urged the Unit to be upbeat about preventing and intercepting illegitimate importation and exportation of dangerous and illicit cargoes that could otherwise enhance terrorism attacks.
Mr Tettey stated that the Customs CTU was created in 2017, with part of their role being to ensure terrorism financing is promptly intercepted and curtailed, in providing tactical support to other institutions on the field, contending to keep Ghana safe from external aggression.
He concluded by calling upon the public to support the team by providing credible intelligence on all smuggling activities across Ghana’s borders, for swift response by Customs, since keeping the country peaceful and safe was a shared responsibility.
The 3-week Course taught the graduands Close Quarter Battle (CQB), Voice Procedure, Obstacle Crossing, Leadership, Endurance Run, Navigation Exercise, Role of Customs in Counter-Terrorism in Ghana, Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Gathering, Vehicle Check Point and Vehicle Searches.
In attendance were Dr Baaba – Principal Analyst from the National Security Ministry, and personnel from 64 Inf Regt and the Ghana Immigration Service.