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Premier the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, assisted by Deputy Premier the Hon. Julianna O'Connor Connolly, JP, snips the ribbon to inaugurate the Customs Freight Security Initiative, with Ministers, MLA and senior Government officials at the Port Authority Cargo Distribution Centre on Tuesday (6 March 2012).

Published 8th March 2012, 2:23pm

Freight monitoring and border protection in the Cayman Islands received a major boost when the Premier and Minister of Finance, Tourism and Development, the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, launched the Customs Freight Security Initiative on Tuesday (6 March 2012).

His Excellency the Acting Governor, Mr. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon, JP joined Mr. Bush, the Deputy Premier, the Hon. Julianna O'Connor Connolly, and other government officials at the demonstration of the Customs Department's new remotely operated scanner.

The top-of-the-line inspection equipment is one of the most sophisticated in the region and capable of comprehensively screening containers and vehicles, ranging from trucks and cars to boats. Along with four other new conventional scanners, the new machine is at the heart of the freight security initiative.

Describing the day as "momentous", the Premier said the new system will enable the inspection of up to 100 percent of all incoming and outgoing freight, a long-standing goal of the department. Additionally, it will improve manifest verification, border control and anti-terrorist capabilities while securing Government revenue and facilitating legitimate trade.

Emphasising that the $5.1 million initiative will boost Customs, Police and Immigration operations, the Premier said Government will soon seek a supplementary appropriation to increase the amount of $47 million allocated toward law enforcement in the current budget.

He thanked and acknowledged the services of hardworking law enforcement personnel, including young officers, who "deserve support and encouragement from all."

Among those who made remarks were Collector of Customs, Mr. Carlon Powery, MBE, JP, Project Coordinator and Assistant Collector, Mr. Jeff Jackson, and the remote scanner supplier Smiths Detection's Latin America and Caribbean Director of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Eduardo Parodi.