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Dick tells Customs to hire expert X-ray technicians to detect shabu

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The Bureau of Customs (BoC) should hire “expert” X-Ray machine operators as well as experts on drug and other contraband detection.

Senator Richard Gordon made the proposal considering “the sophistication that drug smuggling is now being conducted.”

“The drug war has taken a different tone, not only here but throughout the whole world,” said Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

The panel is investigating the P6.8-billion worth of drugs smuggled inside electronic magnetic lifters shipped into the country through the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

“Yung mga droga na ito, pumapasok na ngayon through heavy equipment at more sophisticated kaya dapat turuan ang mga x-ray technicians,” he said.

“Nakalusot sa kanila ‘yun e,” said Gordon. Apparently the BoC does not have sufficient trained X-ray specialists.

The information cropped up after two BoC officials accused each other of not being an expert operator of the x-ray machines.

There was also a debate on whether or not the machines could detect the presence of shabu inside the said lifters.

The interpretations of the x-ray images of the magnetic lifters shipped were also debated.

Gordon said BoC personnel should get trainings, here and abroad, on how to operate the X-ray machines, on analyzing the X-ray images, and on the latest techniques on drug smuggling and detection of drugs and other contraband.

He said the drug war has taken on a different form in all parts of the world. “Drug syndicates are now employing more sophisticated means of smuggling drugs.”

“It’s a new war on drugs that we’re fighting and we have to have new weapons,” the senator from Olongapo said.

“Not only should you upgrade your equipment, you have to have your people trained on how to operate the equipment,” he advised BoC officials.

He added, “You have to have very, very good trained personnel who can make the decision na buksan nila ang kargamento kung lalabas sa X-ray na ito ay medyo kahina-hinala.”

“Alam nila kung ano ang dapat nilang makita and report accordingly. Hindi pwede yung magbubulag-bulagan,” he said.