Wednesday, 15 October 2014
A new mobile scanner by Belgian customs was inaugurated on Wednesday in Antwerp. Installed inside a van, this tool is able to quickly scan dozens of containers in ship ports in order to identify mainly cigarettes and illegal drugs. The Customs already have several larger scanners and equipment in ports to investigate containers. This new scanner is however much smaller and can scan up to two meters in depth.
“This will greatly improve the effectiveness of controls,” said Christmas Colpin, head of customs. “Cigarettes and drugs are often hidden among legal goods in the containers. They are found in the door, in sports bags or cooling system.”
The scanner costs 1.08 million euros, of which a significant portion was funded by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
“A logistics platform like Antwerp port also naturally comes with negative side effects, such as trafficking of cigarettes and drugs,” said Finance Minister, Johan van Overtveldt (N-VA), in his first public address since the formation of the new Belgian government.
“The purchase of the scanner predates my appointment, but it fits perfectly in line with what the new government plans for customs.”
O.Apelblat (Source: Belga)
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The Brussels Times