Customs debuts new gear to combat contraband - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Customs debuts new gear to combat contraband

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Guam Customs and Quarantine is stepping up its battle against illegal drugs and contraband. From up to 10 minutes to now a mere 10-seconds the agency unveiled its brand new state of the art scanners. 

Customs spokesperson Johnric Mendiola explained, saying, "These machines are a much anticipated addition to the agencies tools that will enhance our inspection capabilities contraband identification and interdiction efforts agricultural  protection capabilities and facilitate the moves of commerce for the users of Customs."

Purchased with a half-million dollars in grant money from the Department of the Interior, Guam Customs now has in its possession a mobile x-ray unit - complete with a generator  and a rapid stationary x-ray scanner which will move cargo through the airport faster and more efficiently. Lt. Franklin Gutierrez said, "This particular system is a dual screen and hit has to separate x-rays so one shoots from the side and one shoots from the top down it gives you the ability to look at two images at the same time."

Customs officials provided island dignitaries an example of the new x-rays capabilities. Scanning a cooler and wood pallet through the stationary machine immediately drugs were detected in both items.

Drugs and other illegal contraband will be stopped right at the border.

Prior to this Customs was relying on drug detector dogs. If suspicious cargo came through the air cargo facility they were then transported to the airport's main terminal to be scanned.  Customs director Pedro Leon Guerrero said, "Also with manpower shortages this kind of technology helps us to overcome the shortage of manpower and work smarter we know what to get cleared if its clear and we know what to check because there's an indication of what needs to be checked."

Guam customs has created a special team of officers that will be overseeing the operation of the x-ray scanning machines and ensuring they are properly maintained.
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