Kenya has realized that the way to look at the next generation systems is going from human inspection of a projected image to materials identification at the port.
Major ports of entry in Kenya now have the non-intrusive scanners that detect and identify pre-cursor chemicals, strategic trade commodities as well as special category goods.
During a high-security raid at an Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, KRA detectives have intercepted four containers with a concealed cargo of Ethanol worth Sh15 million that had been filled with boxes of spaghetti.
The 57,600 litres of Ethanol had been neatly filled in 288 drums before being loaded into the four shipping containers that are believed to have originated from Dubai.
The shipment of smuggled ethanol had been declared as imported spaghetti at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi.
At current capacity, the scanners are able to clear more than 500 containers a day. The system works in tandem with X-ray cargo scanners deployed at major airports, Kilindini port, Consolebase CFS and inland container depot in Embakasi Nairobi.
The KRA received a donation of three scanners from the Chinese government to support the existing scanners.
With the growing volumes of trade and limited personnel, the project will ultimately be expanded to increase the scanning capability of the system to enable it clear 1,500 containers per day, as well as reduce duplication of activities and queues, which will improve the global competitiveness of the port.
The non-intrusive scanners, through identification and control of precursor chemicals and strategic commodities will combat global terrorism, ensuring safe and secure trade supply chain.
The challenges presented by transnational smugglers in the form of physical border management of transportation geography with resource constraints, the interdiction adaptation cycle between customs/border enforcement and smugglers, and issues related to customs and border control agencies’ coordination require serious consideration about interactions between not just single agencies but about how networks of agencies interact, gather intelligence and disseminate critical information about illicit traders and cross-border smuggling operations.
Illicit trade and the wide availability of illicit liquidity prevent fair and open markets from reaching their full economic potential and threaten State sovereignty as well as risk growth.