Customs officials monitor activities round the clock
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 15 : Kuwait ports (sea, land and air) are under the supervision of the General Customs Administration, round the clock, through the “Main Control and Surveillance Room” established at Kuwait Ports Corporation in Shuwaikh where the custom areas are monitored through 530 cameras, reports Al-Rai daily. The General Administration of Customs started managing and operating the chamber “virtually”, coinciding with the use of risk management system tools of the automated customs system, report added.
The daily visited the control room recently to look at the mechanism of work, accompanied by Director of the Department of Research and Investigation Rashid Al-Baraka who confirmed that 26 customs officials work in the room for monitoring the land, air and sea ports through 530 cameras distributed in all ports for controlling, connecting, monitoring and surveillance of work there. Al-Baraka pointed out that among the objectives of Control and Surveillance, which actually began operation last month, is pre-targeting the quality of import, export and transit operations at all customs ports, and the safety and security of their customs procedures.
He added the control room provides accurate information based on sound facts and correct numbers for all functional levels to facilitate the right decisions at the right time, and achieve more cooperation and coordination between the Control and Surveillance Room and the customs branch rooms located at the land, sea and air ports. He mentioned the control room plays an important role in risk management, identifying shipments before their arrival in general and tracking suspicious shipments in particular, in addition to pre-determining appropriate customs inspection means for shipments to strike a balance between the application of standards to ease international trade under direct supervision of the Deputy Director General for Research and Investigation Affairs.
Al-Baraka emphasized that the Customs Search and Investigation Sector coordinates with the Control and Surveillance Room and relevant government agencies – especially Ministry of Interior- in monitoring the Control and Surveillance Room 24 hours a day, outside the spatial jurisdiction of the customs departments to take quick precautionary measures in that regard.
This includes marine vessels, aircraft and cars that enter the ports, according to high coordination and 24-hour surveillance via high-quality audio and video cameras managed by qualified personnel. He pointed out that the control room has a system for tracking trucks by linking customs’ electronic tracking screen with Ministry of Interior’s operations room at the border outlets to facilitate coordination and control violations among truck drivers who enter Kuwait from the ports through Shuwaikh or Sulaibiya customs in “convoys”. This system will be canceled at the end of this year and replaced by the automated tracking system for trucks when it enters the port. Director of the Search and Investigation Department revealed the existence of the “Masdar” application that can be downloaded in all smart devices “for free” through which any information can be sent about smuggling of money, people, and drugs, bribery, administrative corruption or tampering with shipping or inspection bills. The name or address of the sender is not required unless he so desires, as a specialized team checks the validity of information received through the electronic application “Masdar” at the Control and Surveillance Room, in coordination with all departments, controls and custom departments.
Director of Search and Investigation Department at the General Administration of Customs, Rashid Al-Baraka, revealed a plan to set up the headquarters for tracing dogs at Terminal 4 (T4) to serve the airports. He revealed a plan to develop the current headquarters at Sulaibiya that have 74 dogs after providing the necessary health and living services, under the supervision of 84 custom inspectors. He pointed out that stations for trail dogs are established at Shuaiba, Doha, Abdali and Nuwaiseeb ports. Al-Baraka explained the administration supports customs inspection, noting several controls fall under it, including money laundering and financing of terrorism unit, the Control and Surveillance Room, monitoring of customs effect, as well as control and follow-up of all shipments at customs ports, indicating the administration has a department at each border port. Al-Baraka mentioned that Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Department works in accordance with Law No. 106/2013 to regulate the entry and exit of funds. He reaffirmed that Article 20 of the law applies to non-entry or exit of any funds exceeding 3,000 Kuwaiti dinars without disclosing the source, whether for trade or treatment, while valuable items such as wrist watches or jewelry must be disclosed.