US to help improve African border security

BorderThe US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, has expressed his country’s preparedness to help African countries to adequately secure their borders to improve revenue collection, eliminate poaching and tackle terrorist attacks.

He said trained canine sniffer dogs, or detector dogs, would be used, particularly, in Tanzania, both at the seaport, and at the airport, to detect ivory and rhinoceros horn.

Mr Kerlikowske, who was speaking during a teleconference to discuss Customs and Border Protection’s capacity building efforts in Africa, added that personnel would also receive the requisite training to enhance their work.

He said it is imperative for African leaders to protect the people that they serve; protect them from fraud and fraudulent products.

He said they have developed and worked on a variety of technological innovations like ground sensors to detect someone coming across the border, high technical video surveillance types of equipment.

“We have trained sniffer dogs to detect everything from agriculture products that may be coming into the United States, explosives, narcotics, and even currency that might be handled or smuggled illegally,” he said.

At the ports of entry, he said the Customs and Border Protection officers also use technology to detect things like fraudulent documents and to intercept people or packages that are attempting to come into the country to do harm.

“So we think that those experiences have been something that we are happy to share with our colleagues in other countries.”

The Commissioner urged Customs officials to work together and understand each other’s issues, which he described as “extremely important when it comes to [combating] fraud.”

“When we sit down and recognise that many of our issues are very similar, we also find that we are all more than willing to help and assist each other in finding better, smarter, more efficient ways to perform our duties, and to uphold our responsibilities to the people that we serve,” he noted.

He noted that, in preventing drug abuse, every county has a problem. “We used to think that some countries were producing countries, and some were transit countries, and others like the United States were consumer countries.”

He noted that drug trafficking is a huge global enterprise that knows no borders, and therefore must be aggressively pursued and combated.

He said there is the need to effect prosecution in the highest level, and their finances, the money, the profits that have been made as a result of that, be seized by government.

“All of us work very hard together to recognise the problem, and to deal with it in a way that makes sense,” he added.

Source: GNA

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