Thursday 12 December, 2019

Port scanners in T&T, awaiting activation

Mobile scanners are expected to be commissioned for use at the country’s ports, as soon as certain legal issues are sorted out.

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon gave the assurance in response to an urgent question in Parliament on Thursday, regarding the recent discovery of arms and ammunition at a courier company in El Socorro. A police investigation into the discovery is in progress.

Dillon revealed that the scanners are already in the country, and once legal issues – which currently have the attention of the Attorney General’s office – are sorted, they will be activated at the ports.

The Minister further revealed that discussions with the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) for the installation of fixed scanners are ongoing.

Asked by Opposition Senator Wade Mark what was being done to ensure close monitoring of shipping containers entering the country, Dillon indicated that the Ministry of National Security works closely with the Ministry of Finance, namely the Customs and Excise Division and the preventative branch, along with the Port Authority to ensure security of T&T’s ports.

He added that the Comptroller of Customs, who sits on the Strategic Operations team which comprises the Commissioner of Police, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Director of Strategic Services Agency meets on a weekly basis and brings to the team’s attention situations pertinent to security in the ports of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dillon also noted a recommendation for the establishment of a joint border protection task force, coming out of the joint border protection agency study.

The Minister said that the implementation of the scanners at the various ports will enhance the searches carried out by the Canine Unit, Customs and the preventative branch.

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