Bill seeks to beef up Customs' forfeiture authority, shore up Guam borders

Noting the need to equip Guam’s first line of defense to deter illegal activity and curb the entry of drugs into Guam, three senators introduced a bill that would authorize would authorize the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency to seize and forfeit property acquired in violation of local customs law.

Bill 87-36 was introduced by Sens. Mary Camacho Torres, Telena C. Nelson and Vice Speaker Tina Muña Barnes.

Currently, the CQA possesses limited statutory authority to seize items subject to forfeiture under its laws.

According to a 2019 study on the agency published by the University of Guam Regional Center for Public Policy (UOG-RPP), Guam Customs has received portions of proceeds through equitable sharing with federal law enforcement partners, but is not granted a local procedure for seizing assets under the direct jurisdiction of the agency.