The Customs and Quarantine Agency (CQA) has given a sneak peek into how they conduct container inspections at our island’s port.
With the recent repair of the container X-ray scanner unit after a year of it being inoperable, Customs officers demonstrated for island officials how the machine works.
The Customs officers said that they are able to screen at least 20 containers a day. If the x-ray scanner picks up something not disclosed on the manifest, that item can be confiscated and the intended recipient fined.
In addition to the scanner, Customs’ K-9 unit was also onsite to showcase their drug detector dogs in action. The unit has added two K-9s to their team. K-9 Kappie and his handler were more than enthusiastic to show us what they are capable of.
According to their handlers, Kappie and his K-9 colleagues cut down the time it takes for an officer to manually search vehicles which have been deemed as high risk cargo for the importation of drugs.
On average, it takes about two minutes for Kappie to sniff out a vehicle for drugs as opposed to his two legged co-workers who would take about 30 minutes. Kappie has been on the team for five years and contributed to nearly $15 million of drugs being seized and not making it to our island’s streets.
CQA Director Ike Peredo said the scanners, the K-9 units, and other resources all help in intercepting illegal drugs that are coming in.