PLANNING Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said all scanners at the Port of Port of Spain were functioning but a shipment discovered with a quantity of marijuana was not checked at the port but at another location.
She was responding to a question in the House yesterday from Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh on whether the scanners were functioning in light of recent reports that a shipment containing large quantities of marijuana was cleared at the port. She was likely referring to $6 million worth of marijuana found in 13 bags hidden among a shipment of beverages at Caribbean Bottlers TT Ltd in Macoya on Friday. Newsday was told the container was cleared at a TT port by Customs and Excise officers and arrived at the Coca-Cola factory late on Thursday. Employees were assigned to remove the beers from the container to be taken inside when around 10.30 am, the drugs were discovered.
Robinson-Regis, speaking on behalf of Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, said yesterday the fixed scanners at the port are fully operational. She said, based on procedures, the Customs and Excise Division is the agency with the sole responsibility to decide which shipments are scanned or required to undergo any type of examination and the port does not have such authority. “Some items that come into the port are taken out and investigated off-site and not on the port. The seal is therefore broken after they go to the site where the examination takes place. So this is what occurred in this instance.”