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Costa Rican government to install scanners at ports and airports in 2023

The president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, announced last Wednesday the implementation of a project to place scanners in ports to combat smuggling and tackle drug trafficking.

Chaves indicated in a press conference (after the Administration Council) that the country will invest $35 million to install nine scanners to prevent the shipment or entry of drugs in containers and contraband products in ports and border areas.

These devices will be distributed as follows: 2 new scanners at APM Terminals, one at the port of Japdeva, two at Puerto Caldera, one at the Paso Canoas border post, one at Peñas Blancas, plus two mobile devices that will be used mainly to cover the Las Tablillas post in the Nothern Region and Sixaola.

“Fellow citizens, I am going to die peacefully, partly because at last, after 15 years of indolence, we had the legal obligation to install scanners, and next year we will do so next year,” said President Chaves.

The administration also explained how the scanners would work and highlighted these were high-tech and modern apparatuses. 

“These tools will have the capacity to scan about 150 trucks per hour, so there will be no delay in the entry and exit of cargo at the posts where they will be installed. The new scanners have as a novelty the possibility of checking both the containers and the trucks that transport them”, explained the Presidential Office. 

Rodrigo Chaves was delighted with the news, as he believes “we do not deserve the reputation of being the largest exporter of cocaine in the world,” and this will be crucial to eradicating this status. 

The scanning service will be provided by Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA), who will offer a complete service at a lower price than at present since the cost of the fee per revision will not exceed $25.

“Thousands of jobs in this country depend on the export of products, both in agricultural production such as pineapple, bananas, and coffee, which would be seriously affected by the closures at the ports of reception of our products for being related to the shipment of cocaine or different substances,” commented the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Víctor Carvajal Porras. 

The use of new scanners is the result of an inter-institutional effort involving the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Security (MSP), the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).

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