By Caribbean News Now contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts -- Law enforcement officials in St Kitts and Nevis have stated that personnel from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are there to conduct training of security personnel and not investigations of any sort.
Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn. SKNIS Photo
Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn said that St Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign country and, if any external agencies wish to conduct inquiries, his office would have to be informed.
“As of date, I have not been notified of any investigation by any external agency and there are no FBI agents here [in St Kitts and Nevis] conducting any investigations,” he stated categorically.
“We do have FBI agents here but they were invited by me, through the United States Department of Justice [Regional Legal Advisor for the Caribbean] Major Coleman to conduct some much needed training which is what we are doing this week. With reference to the allegations they are nil, they are void. There is no such investigation happening in the Federation,” he explained.
Reports were recently published in local media that the US Justice Department (of which the FBI is part) “is concerned about several Federation citizens who have bank accounts containing funds of up to eight figures -- many times more than they could earn by working at their trade or profession.”
However, the comments in question were reportedly made by an anonymous mid-level State Department official, who are not generally known for speaking on behalf of the Justice Department, which has a policy of neither confirming nor denying whether a matter is under investigation.
In response to a request for clarification in this regard, Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said, “We’ll continue our policy of neither confirming nor denying whether a matter is under investigation.”
In the meantime, the three FBI agents currently in St Kitts are conducting a three-day training dubbed active shooter and intelligence gathering analysis for supervisors in the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) and the Customs and Excise Department. The course is in line with previous trainings conducted locally by the US agency. In 2012, agents facilitated a basic homicide investigation course.
Walwyn explained that the relationship between local law enforcement and agencies such as the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) remains very strong.
“We were the first agency in the Eastern Caribbean to have a Firearms Investigative Unit,” Walwyn said referring to assistance received from the ATF.
He added that because of this close collaboration, four active investigations were started concerning persons shipping guns to St Kitts and Nevis.
“With the FBI, as you can see they are here and they are doing this training for free so that just shows the extent of the cooperation that we have between the two agencies,” he said.
The commissioner also highlighted the training and equipment donations received from the DEA in the past and stated “… there’s nothing that we have to worry about. Our partnerships are strong,” he stressed, revealing that the interpersonal relationships fostered resulted in several retired agents vacationing in St Kitts and Nevis.