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X-RAY VISION! Customs will get $3m equipment to stop smugglers

One of the world’s leading suppliers of anti-nuclear army vehicles has signed a major deal to protect Cayman’s borders.

Smiths Detection supplies military equipment that helps identify explosives, chemical and biological agents, radiological and nuclear threats and weapons.

Now they have announced their largest contract to date, providing high-energy X-ray cargo inspection systems to the Cayman Islands Customs Department.

It will use special technology that can distinguish between organic and inorganic substances.

The machinery is costing around $3m and should be in place by the start of 2012.

It will hook to the side of a Heavy Goods Vehicle and then an arm is deployed and driven over the containers quickly revealing its content.

Smaller machinery will also be installed at the Post Office and the Customs Warehouse Courier Building.

Jeff Jackson, Assistant Collector and NIIS Project Coordinator, Cayman Islands Customs, said: “Because we have seen an increase in criminal activity over the past several years in relations to drugs and firearms, there is clearly a need to integrate Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems (NIIS) technology into our clearance process.

“It will not only enhance our capacity to help protect our islands’ integrity from imported threats, but also secure Government’s revenue and facilitate legitimate trade.

“We also need to be in compliance with international and US security standards such as US 100% screening and Safe Port Act and they are welcoming this initiative.

“As the Customs Department enjoys good cooperation relationship with the port authority and the police, the acquisitions of these systems will also enable us to assist port security to ensure compliance with international standards and the police on our road networks.

“Although no negative reaction is expected from the Trade community, we will make every effort to limit extra clearance time.”

The technology used will make the system the most advanced Customs screening technology in the entire Caribbean.

It uses Heimann Cargo Vision Mobile (HCVM) units that are able to thoroughly scan items quickly.

Mr Jackson added: “The acquisition of the HCVM is the most advanced technology procurement of its kind in the Caribbean to date, demonstrating our commitment to combat drug smuggling and other prohibited/restricted items and safeguard customs revenue.”

The system allows the detection of narcotics and other suspect substances hidden in standard commercial shipments.

Coupled with other HI-SCAN Cargo Inspection Systems, the full array of scanners will help reduce the need for manual inspections by showing customs officials that goods in containers match those declared on the manifest.

Eduardo Parodi, Director of Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, Smiths Detection, said: “This is Smiths Detection’s fifth High Energy System deployed in the region.

“All our systems have had a strong history of return on investment for their end users in terms of narcotics seizures as well as revenue collection. The effective use of advanced technology supported by our investments in regional service capabilities truly allows Smiths Detection to stand out among competing manufacturers.”

Smiths Detection has more than 65,000 X-ray inspection units in more than 180 countries, 6,000 desktop explosives trace detection systems, 186,000 chemical detectors, and around 500 cargo inspection systems worldwide.


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