With More Travelers, Cuban Customs Heightens Control / 14ymedio
14ymedio, 24 June 2016 – Cuba's General Customs of the Republic has
announced that it will strengthen the infrastructure of detection in air
and sea terminals throughout this year to counter "phenomena such as
drug trafficking, violations of the security of the country and
smuggling of endemic species," according to a report in the official
press on Friday.
Moraima Rodríguez Nuviola, assistant director of Customs Control
Systems, in a meeting with the press on Thursday, highlighted the need
to strengthen "risk management, the preparation of forces, and the
acquisition and mastery of modern technologies."
With the increasing number of tourists in recent months, following the
immigration reforms that eased travel for Cubans beginning in 2013, the
work of the customs service has experienced an increased "level of
complexity," especially in detecting communications technologies coming
into the country, because of the advancements in these technologies in
recent years, said Rodriguez Nuviola.
Customs keeps a tight control over satellite transmission and reception
equipment, literature critical of the Government, controversial
audiovisual materials and technology to create wireless networks. During
the strict customs searches, which include scanning each bag, they also
look for external hard drives and other data storage devices.
Methods of circumventing the restrictions have diversified, acknowledged
the official, and there has been an increase in "diverse methods of
hiding the introduction of these methods into the country (bringing them
in parts and pieces hidden inside the frames of similar equipment)."
Between January and May, the entity foiled a total of 41 cases of
transportation of drugs, among them six kilograms of cocaine and seven
of marijuana. During this period, they also detected 817 violations
defined as the "introduction of devices, satellite equipment and
subversive literature aimed at the counterrevolution."
There has also been an increase "in attempts to bring in weapons, parts
and ammunition and an increased detection of subversive printed
materials in different formats," said Rodriguez Nuviola.
In the absence of a legal framework for commercial imports destined for
private hands, many travelers use their personal baggage to bring into
the country goods such as clothing, footwear and medicines, which are
subsequently sold on the informal market.
With regards to bringing in undeclared cash, in the first five months of
the year Customs detected at least 47 cases in which they have recovered
the smuggling of 1,598 Cuban convertible pesos, 63,924 dollars and 1,100
In the face of new conditions, Nelson Cordobes Reyes, first deputy head
of the Cuban Customs, reinforced that the "control activity in the field
of Aviation Security at the exit from international airports,
particularly for direct flights to the United States" will be
strengthened. Customs will also invest in new "technical means of
detection and control."
Cuban activists and opponents have regularly denounced the confiscation
by the authorities of literature, computers, external hard drives and
business cards. As a rule, despite following the process for reclaiming
possessions, travelers are unable to retrieve the items confiscated from
Source: With More Travelers, Cuban Customs Heightens Control / 14ymedio
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