The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has invited bids for the acquisition of X-Ray Body Scanners and X-Ray Luggage Scanners with the objective to enhance the detection of passengers suspected of corporal concealment. These scanners will also further enhance border security and customs control for passengers and staff exiting the airport terminal as well as for the security and safety of the population at large.
Taking into consideration the number of cases reported by the Anti-Drugs and Smuggling Unit (ADSU) of seizures of pellets of drugs inland which are suspected to have been introduced by drug swallowers, the Body Scanner will be used to scan suspicious passengers based on profiling and targeting of risky flights, risk profiles or on credible information.
The Body Scanner is also expected to have the ability to provide high quality images of the passenger being screened. This will allow Customs Officers to make a comprehensive search of an individual as well as identify any threats and illicit substances that the person has concealed on the surface of their body and inside body cavities.
The X-Ray Scanners will be used at the Sir Seewoosagur International Airport (SSRIA), notably: Body Scanner in the SSRIA arrival hall; one Luggage Scanner for staff exit at the departure hall of the SSRIA and; one Luggage Scanner in the VIP Lounge to scan cabin luggage of VIP passengers.
Recent reports of seizures indicate that drug traffickers are using mules to smuggle drugs into Mauritius through corporal concealment. In a bid to ensure the welfare of the population and reduce drug trafficking in Mauritius, the Body Scanner will act as a major deterrent and assist in the detection of such concealments. The Luggage Scanners will detect concealment of contraband and illicit items, facilitate clearance of legitimate passengers and enhance border control.
It is recalled that the value of drugs or illegal products seized by the MRA from January 2018 to January 2020 amounts to Rs 934.04 million, out of which 68 drug cases worth of Rs 340.1 million were detected through luggage scanners; 57 cases of contraband seizures to a total of Rs 19.24 million and; 54 drug mules for corporal concealment of drugs at SSRIA through profiling and medical examination of a value of Rs 574.7 million.