Friday 3 April, 2020

China donates new scanners to Antigua and Barbuda

 Comptroller of Customs and Excise Division Raju Boddu (left), Prime Minister Gaston Browne (center) and Chinese Ambassador Sun Ang. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda

Comptroller of Customs and Excise Division Raju Boddu (left), Prime Minister Gaston Browne (center) and Chinese Ambassador Sun Ang. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda

China donated several pieces of equipment to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to help improve security and efficiency at the nation’s legal entry points.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Chinese Ambassador Sun Ang and Comptroller of Customs and Excise Division Raju Boddu signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement last Friday for the provision of Container Inspection Equipment for the seaport and Inspection Equipment for the international airport.

The equipment, which cost US$5million, involves the donation of a Mobile Container and Vehicle Inspection System, X-ray Inspection System, Radioactive Material Monitoring System, X-ray CT Inspection System, 20 sets of Hand-held Metal Detectors and three sets of Portable Trace Explosives and Drug Detectors.

Speaking at the signing, Sun said the equipment will help the twin-island nation save money while boosting revenue collection.

He added that it is China’s latest step in strengthening its relationship with Antigua and Barbuda.

Browne, in thanking China for its donation, said: “Antigua and Barbuda is making every effort to secure its borders, and certainly the security technology that we are receiving here from the People’s Republic of China will help us to deal with a number of illicit goods, contraband, drugs, firearms, and even explosives that would have literally come through our shores from time to time.

“We have a number of creative business people on the island who have been able to literally hide their most valuable imports; surround them with the less valuable ones outside of the sight of the Customs officers, and in some instances, you have a situation in which they are able to literally conceal contraband as well.”

Browne added that the equipment will help Antigua and Barbuda become an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean.

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