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Jamaica to ramp up maritime surveillance

  • Written by News Jamaica
  • Published in local news
National Security Minister Peter Bunting (left) and  Sagicor President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Byles (right), addresses journalists during Tuesday’s announcement of  the financial institution’s funding of a state-of-the-art thermal temperature scanner, being acquired from Canada at a cost of approximately $4.3 million (US$38,000). The machine will be installed at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. National Security Minister Peter Bunting (left) and Sagicor President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Byles (right), addresses journalists during Tuesday’s announcement of the financial institution’s funding of a state-of-the-art thermal temperature scanner, being acquired from Canada at a cost of approximately $4.3 million (US$38,000). The machine will be installed at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
KINGSTON, Jamaica Oct 22, 2014 - National Security Minister Peter Bunting, says the country’s maritime surveillance capacity, encompassing monitoring of the country’s territorial waters, will have to be ramped up, as part of the Government’s Ebola preparedness and response mechanism.

This will entail boosting the capabilities of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Marine Police Division, he noted.

Speaking at a presentation of a $4.3 million cheque for the acquisition of a thermal temperature scanner by Sagicor Life Jamaica,  Bunting noted that approximately 99 per cent of persons entering Jamaica do so through the formal ports of entry, Mr. Bunting said “most of the angles,” in terms of Ebola surveillance and that of other activities, are covered by the state agencies responsible for border control.

However, he said that with the prevalence of illicit activities, such as smuggling, where “we have had a fairly active guns-for-drugs trade,” involving a number of Caribbean islands, particularly those in close proximity to Jamaica, “that is also an area that we could be exposed to Ebola.”

“So, while one primary area of (our Ebola surveillance) focus will be our formal sea and airports, another another potential area that we are focusing on is ramping up the maritime surveillance capabilities,” Mr. Bunting assured.

The thermal temperature scanner, which is being acquired from Canada, will be installed at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.