The United States has announced a crackdown on illegal gun trafficking to Haiti and the Caribbean.
On Wednesday Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami disclosed efforts to curb the increased flow of weapons, weapon parts, and ammunition to the region.
According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement release Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of HSI Miami, along with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners made the disclosure.
“HSI and our partners will investigate and seek to prosecute any individuals involved in illegal arms trafficking,” the release quoted Salisbury as saying.
“Today we make it very clear that the United States, and in particular south Florida, is not open for business regarding the illegal trafficking of weapons,” Salisbury stated.
HSI has reported a substantial increase in the number of weapons, along with a serious increase in the caliber and type of firearms, being illegally trafficked.
Some of those weapons include .50 caliber sniper rifles, 308 rifles, and a belt-fed machine gun.
“In the wrong hands, these weapons could cause mass casualties. Because of this, HSI and counterparts within DHS, Department of Commerce, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), and the US Attorney for Southern District of Florida are vigorously pursuing this issue and implementing countermeasures,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement release noted.
” These measures include extra resources within HSI Miami, primarily through our Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) groups, charged with combating emerging and existing Transnational Criminal Organizations and increased inspections of U.S. export shipments to ensure compliance with federal export laws,” it observed.
The release said agencies are also leveraging information developed from investigations and partnerships with foreign customs officials and police to target shipments and individuals that may be engaged in smuggling.
“These efforts not only concern the physical movement of illegal weapons but also the financial flows that support this illicit activity,” it explained.
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