After 14 weeks of rigorous training, seven newly certified Division of Customs officers have joined the frontlines of those who screen the islands’ seaport, airport, and postal offices.
According to Customs director Jose Mafnas, there are now approximately 54 Customs officers, with the new officers under the purview of senior officers.
Training coordinator Rita Santos said this is the smallest cycle consisting of mostly male officers. Nonetheless, she said all of them exemplify the quality of a dedicated customs officer.
Mafnas said the new officers would be using new equipment such as x-ray scanners with a 500-lb capacity for the airport and a 6,000-lb capacity scanner for bulk items at the seaport. Handheld scanners are also in the process of being procured.
Mafnas presented the certificates of completion to the 4th cycle of officers at the Francisco C. Ada-Saipan International Airport during their Thanksgiving luncheon, saying, “We finally are able to present your certificates after much waiting due to having this postponed due to the typhoon.”
Finance Secretary Larissa Larson, who was also present, congratulated the officers for their hard work, highlighting the significance of increasing vigilance at all points of entry on the island.
The newest Customs officers are John Salas, Juan Inos III, Toby Fleming, Chai Magofna, Ryan Kikku, Chris Duenas, and Joshua Mafnas. The brief ceremony also recognized the completion of K9 training for Drug Detector Specialist 1 Shawn Delacruz.
“Thank you for the hard work and trainings you have completed to maintain the standard of customs in order to continue the accomplishments of last year no matter what is being thrown at you. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you for your hard work and dedication,” Larson said.