MODERN TECHNOLOGY HELPS CUSTOMS SERVICE FIGHT TERRORISM

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MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - The introduction of advanced customs technologies to the Federal Customs Service is an important step toward combating the threats of the 21st century, including terrorism, Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service Leonid Lozbenko said Tuesday at the opening of the 5th Customs Service 2004 international exhibition.

"The use of modern customs technologies in the customs service is very important in the current conditions," he said, "especially in the light of the recent events in Russia."

According him, such practices allows terrorism and various types of smuggling, including drugs, as well as other infringements of the law committed by crossing the border, to be more effectively combated.

Mr. Lozbenko said that such technologies enabled customs workers to spot more than 14,000 infringements of the customs law, or 17% of the total infringements of the law, in 2003.

Last year modern technologies helped Russian customs officers to locate over 15 metric tons of drugs being smuggled, stop more than 2,300 attempts to illegally carry cultural and historical valuables across the border and stop the smuggling of over 15,000 weapons.

"Taking into account the importance of equipping the border check points of the Russian Federation with modern equipment," he said, we have been constantly introducing new information technologies and closely cooperating with Russian and foreign manufactures of such goods."

The samples of the best customs technology are on display at the exhibition, which opened in Moscow on Tuesday and will close on October 8. Mr. Lozbenko said some of these technologies would soon be used by the Federal Customs Service.

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