JIS News

Gilbert Scott, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, has said that an agreement has been reached between the Jamaican and United States governments for the introduction of new technologies for immigration control at the island’s two international airports and cruise shipping ports.
“This new technology will allow us to capture information on all incoming and outgoing passengers, and allow us to take action against those who may seek to violate the privilege that is extended to them by entry into Jamaica,” he explained.
Mr. Scott was addressing the Caribbean Shipping Association’s 33rd annual general meeting, conference and exhibition, at the Half Moon Hotel Conference Centre in Montego Bay on October 14.
He said that much success had been achieved in the fight against illegal trafficking of drugs and guns and other contraband, and informed that discussions were being held for the introduction of additional technologies to sustain gains made.
Mr. Scott said the introduction of Ionscan machines at the two international airports early last year, with the help of the British Government, had significantly reduced the smuggling of cocaine into the United Kingdom.
“Within the first week of introduction, the no shows on the major airlines went up by somewhere between 30 to 40 percent. Within a month, the detection of couriers had exceeded all the detection in the previous five months of the year,” he informed.
He noted, that while incidents of smuggling have not stopped completely, they were just a small percentage of what they were prior to the use of the Ionscans.
Noting that Jamaica could not fight the illegal drug trade on its own, Mr. Scott said the support from international partners had been significant, in terms of the provision of training and machinery and the sharing of intelligence.

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