Who is responsible for security at Warehouse No. 5
Courier companies, the Department of Customs, the Airport Security Corps (Cesac) have all gone back and forth pointing the finger of blame for a reported theft at Warehouse No. 5 at the Las Americas International Airport. Customs has said that Aerodom and the Airport Security Corps (Cesac) were responsible for security at the airport and that if any items are missing, then the couriers will have to pay the import taxes. Customs does not recognize the theft, saying that it sees it as contraband.
Speaking for the couriers, the Dominican Courier Companies Association (Asodec) now says that the theft was not worth millions but involved low-value items and shipments of under US$200, and the total value was no more than US$3,500. The courier companies have said their insurance will cover the losses of their clients who will receive a refund or will be able to re-order the items at no additional cost. Asodec says that only two members were affected by the robbery on 24-25 December, Taino Express and Pick and Send and fewer than 50 packages were affected, according to Laura Castellanos, lawyer for the organization.
Castellanos said that the merchandise was in the warehouse because additional documentation was required, usually a missing invoice. She added that when that happens, Customs keeps it at the warehouse until the documentation is received and then dispatches it. She said that is a normal situation that happens every day. While in the past Customs carried out random inspections, the government body is now known to be inspecting many more packages, causing backlogs in processing.
Couriers Association president Jose Burdie has challenged the statement by Customs that the warehouse was not under their jurisdiction. He said the merchandise had been retained in the warehouse by Customs itself.
Meanwhile, based on the statements of Customs, the Couriers and Cesac, no one is responsible for security in the warehouse. As reported in Diario Libre, the director of Customs said that the Airport Security Corps (Cesac) was in charge of security. Nevertheless, Cesac director Aracenis Castillo said they were not responsible because they are only in charge of security and protection of passengers, aircraft and departing merchandise, but not for imported items, which are handled by Customs and the courier companies.
In an interview on El Sol de la Manana radio talk show on Tuesday, 30 December 2014, Asodec legal advisor Laura Castellanos said that the priority in the Warehouse No. 5 case is to resolve the issue of the security of the stored items, especially now with the confusion about who is responsible for what. In a statement published in the media, Asodec called for competent authorities to start reinforcing the security system in the affected areas, which are an essential part of the customs procedures at the Las Americas International Airport. There are no security cameras in the area.
Source: DR1, DiarioLibre
Category: DR News |