(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – Be it drugs, arms, fake goods or even people, smuggling via the Paramaribo Port facilities, Nieuwe Haven, has become much more difficult now that Suriname has officially been connected to the International Container Control Network (CCP) an affiliate of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
CCP is a digital network that allows continuous exchange of data between CCP monitoring teams in several ports around the world. Suspect containers, mostly from not closely identified locations or risk areas, can be identified before arrival and targeted for inspection. Tax evasion through falsified documents can now also be minimized.
‘Let this be a warning to transnational criminals who terrorize our country and the region: Suriname and the international community will hunt you down,’ National Security Chief Melvin Linscheer warns. He heads the local CCP team comprised of three police and three customs officers. Linscheer underscores that democracy in developing nations is held prisoner by cross border crime, but joining forces internationally gives hope for successfully fighting this evil. The security expert touches a raw nerve when he says that modern systems are worthless if the people manning them are not reliable. He knows his team will soon be tested, but he is certain they know what they are up against.
Suriname and Guyana are the first Caribbean nations to be connected to the network. There are 30 CCP teams in fourteen countries. US Ambassador Jay Anania points out that the network has been operational since 2006, uncovering hundreds of containers used in criminal operations. The Embassy financed implementation of the network in Suriname. John Defares, director of the Port Authority, considers the presence of the unit an added value to one of the best ports in the region. A bad report would stain the image his port has, especially since it has been awarded best multi-functional port in two straight years.