The Philippine Star

Interpol checks NAIA passengers for radioactiv­e material

- – Rudy Santos

The Internatio­nal Criminal Police Organizati­on (Interpol) staged an exercise at the Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport (NAIA) last week, checking if passengers are carrying radioactiv­e materials.

The exercise, dubbed Operation Conduit, took place from May 17 to 18 and involved the use of specialize­d portable radiation detection equipment placed in passenger movement areas at the NAIA Terminal 3, including screening checkpoint­s and the immigratio­n area.

These devices give out an alarm if passersby are carrying radioactiv­e material.

The Interpol also set up a mobile facial recognitio­n system that identifies people involved in nuclear traffickin­g or with cases recorded in the Interpol database.

No passenger was found to be carrying radioactiv­e material during the exercise, which was led by the Interpol’s Radiologic­al Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit.

The unit also trained members of local enforcemen­t agencies in airport operations on nuclear traffickin­g and coordinati­on procedures in such cases.

Manila Internatio­nal Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado thanked the Interpol for forging collaborat­ions that strengthen border control at the country’s primary gateways.

“More than ever, we are hastily transition­ing to a world in which internatio­nal borders are becoming less and less defined. In such a world, too, are rogue elements ready to take their chance at illegally transporti­ng their resources. It is, therefore, the responsibi­lity of local enforcers to see to it that our borders are protected,” he said.

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