$2 million Port scanners finally operational
April 19, 2024

$2 million Port scanners finally operational

Two scanners are now fully operational more than a year after the government first announced plans to install them.

The equipment, used as a security mechanism to detect illegal firearms and ammunition at the nation’s ports of entry, have been set up at the Kingstown Port and the Campden Park Cargo Port according to Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves during a radio programme.

Back in February 2023, the government had disclosed news of the procurement and installation of the new scanners however, up to November of that year, port officials had revealed to SEARCHLIGHT that the delay on the use of the scanners was due to staff not yet being trained to use the equipment.

Dr Gonsalves said each scanner ran a price tag of one million dollars.

“We have purchased it, it took a while to get the right machine and then to get the people to set it up and so on. But we have purchased two machines a million dollars apiece, one for Campden Park and one for Kingstown.”

He also revealed that the scanner was what led to the seizure of a gun and ammunition at the Campden Park Port last week. Police said they carried out a strategic operation at the Port on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, which led to the discovery of a .38 special revolver and a comprehensive assortment of ammunition totalling 2,538 rounds, covering calibers such as .40mm, 9mm, .380, FN 5.7 x 28mm, and .22. ammunition, an extended magazine and a quantity of fireworks.

“That is how that was found, the ammunition and the gun. Even before anybody came so that it could be opened.”

He said St Vincent and the Grenadines utilizes the resources available through the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) for assistance in securing the country’s borders.

Prime Minister Gonsalves also said that the regional body has been, and continues to seek collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the USA.

“We have an institutional system where all these reports go immediately to IMPACS. We have been trying for some time to get greater collaboration-the whole of CARICOM including us, with the responsible agencies in the United States, including that agency responsible for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms…”.