Coast Guard to search under ships for Contraband
PJ Patter5on (2nd left) looks at a monument unveiled by him at
the official opening of the Kingston Container Terminal phase III at Port
Bustamante last week. Also looking on are Shaul Cohen -Mintz (left),
of Zim-American Israeli Shipping Company; Noel Hylton (3rd left), President
the Port Authority; Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir
Howard Cooke and Robert Pickersgill (right), Minister of Transport and
Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson has announced that it the Jamaica Defence
Force Coast Guard will assume responsibility for diving under cargo vessels
in search of contraband. including narcotics and illegal guns and
ammunition, at Kingston’s container terminal. Previously civilian divers
were employed to do the diving.
Mr. Patterson was speaking last week at the official opening of phase three
of the Kingston Transhipment Terminal at Gordon Cay in Kingston. The
expansion of the terminal was completed at a cost of US$ 102 million. An
additional 542 metres of berth space has been created at the port, with 14
hectares of storage area.
The Prime Minister said that the government was constantly upgrading
security system at all ports of entry, in an effort to prevent the
importation of illegal guns, drugs and ammunition. He stressed that Jamaica
was at risk of destroying all that it had achieved over the years, if
systems were not in place to ensure absolute and uncomprornised security at
He told port workers and security personnel, that no amount of
ill-gotten rewards could justify turning a blind eye to the movement of
contraband through the country’s ports. He stressed that in addition to
security measures already in place, the Port authority will shortly install
a comprehensive camera system for the inspection of cargo and satellite and
computer tracking system for containers.
The Prime Minister stressed that these measures were being undertaken in an
effort to beat the criminal elements, have become more sophisticated and
advanced in their methods.
Continuing, Prime Minister Patterson said that the government was committed
to the development of the Port of Kingston and had initiated several
policies and programmes to proceed toward that objective, including the
implementation of the National Industry Policy and new Shipping Act. He
said Jamaica was ready to into partnership with the international community,
to explore the commercial development of the support services and sub
sectors associated with the industry. Areas of emphasis will include
expansion of the cruise shipping sector, international dry-docking, ship
registry, yachting and marina development.