Customs Department says investment in equipment and officials has led to recent seizure of goods

Specialised scanners which the Customs Department has at the Freeport has helped officials to inspect a sample from thousands of containers which pass through here, without stopping.

During a visit which the President of Malta George Vella made to the Customs office, where he watched them carry out a number of inspections,  he said that this department has continued to improve its operations.

President Vella added that their hard work has led to the seizure of a substantial amount of drugs as well as boats used in human trafficking.

The Director General of Customs Joseph Chetcuti said that the success of the department over the last few month was due to the investment it has made in equipment and Human Resources.

“The intelligence system, and the risk analysis systems which we have considerably improved, are robust and give us an indication of what one should look out for and where we should look.  The third investment is in our people, the training we are giving them and the improvements we are making in the amount of our Human Resources.”

Chetcuti added that next year Customs will be involved in two International events to continue strengthening the cooperation with foreign countries, including the launch of a forum for Mediterranean countries.

“This is a purely Maltese initiative, as Malta has pushed for the creation of this forum for Mediterranean Customs Departments which will also bring together European Customs, not only from EU member states but also those which touch with the Mediterranean, North Africa, Turkey and Israel. The idea is for this forum to discuss matters which are of common interest to all these Customs departments.”

Next year, Malta’s Customs Department will also take part in the annual meeting of the ASEM which includes the heads of Customs Departments to improve the cooperation between Asian and European countries.