The Maltese customs department has seized cocaine worth €83.9 – incredible feet for a small island country. In addition, the Malta Freeport Terminals handled 3.31 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers in 2018.
In 2019, this will be increased to four million TEUs. This record success is because of a powerful scanner which was installed in the year 2017.
According to customs inspector George Agius, this Nutech scanner cost €1.5 million, reported Malta Today. He says that the scanner has helped the Maltese authorities to double the number of containers that are scanned.
“Our department invested heavily in equipment, infrastructure, training, human logistics and intelligence. We also revisited our modus operandi and this is giving results,” he was quoted as saying.
The installation of Nutech scanner has seen Malta customs department seizing 120 packets of cocaine inside the refrigeration compressor unit of the container in April this year.
“Our risk profiling is based on several criteria. We look at the selected cargo manifest and scrutinise the declarations in several aspects with a ‘Customs’ eye. We also conduct random checks on a regular basis,” Geoge Agius adds while speaking to Malta Today.
He also asserts that the equipment used by Maltese customs department is the best in the market. In addition, citing the number of containers carrying drugs coming from South American countries, Agius states that cargo arriving from these places is more likely to be flagged.
He adds that once the drug is discovered, the police anti-drug squad takes over the investigation which further informs the duty magistrate. The container carrying the drugs is kept under a 24-hour police vigil at a customs warehouse until a magistrate is assigned.