The first of two new scanners for the Bridgetown Port will be in Barbados in two months.
Attorney General Dale Marshall gave this update this morning while reminding Barbadians that Government will be beefing up security with the addition of the two new container scanners.
Delivering remarks at the opening of the Caribbean Security Basin Initiative Commission meeting at Radisson Hotel, this morning, the AG said it was not good enough that only one scanner has been working at the Bridgetown Port over the last two years.
The Attorney General said “In order to make sure that our environment is not compromised, we have decided to commit the sum of $40 million, to acquire two new scanners, the first of which would be delivered within the next six to eight weeks. The second will be delivered certainly before the end of this year to ensure that we can target as great a percentage of container traffic coming into Barbados for scanning.
“And therefore the Advanced Cargo Information System (ACIS) is one that lends itself to Barbados, and it is one that would see our support.
“A lot of what we are doing now though, had its genesis over ten years ago. It is ironic that the occasion for a lot of our security initiatives had to do with the sport that Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean enjoy so much, that being cricket. One would think that the cricketing environment is an occasion of festivity and laughter and revelry and celebration,” he said.
The Attorney General noted that at the time when the Caribbean won the bid to host the largest cricket tournament in the world, CARICOM nations recognized that it in order to be a safe environment for visitors, security measures needed to be transformed.”
In February this year, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey while addressing Barbados Labour Party (BLP), St Joseph constituency branch meeting, indicated that an alarming number of shipping containers has been entering the country through the Bridgetown Port without being scanned by customs officer, leaving a gaping opening for the importation of illegal firearms.
Humphrey said then that less than six per cent of the cargo leaving the port was being scanned.