Friday, June 14, 2024

US company gets $612M Sedena contract for customs machines

The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) has awarded a US $612 million customs equipment contract to United States company Rapiscan Systems, the Reforma newspaper reported Friday.

The California-based company beat out a consortium led by Chinese firm Nuctech even though it submitted a higher bid.

map of Mexico's northern border stations
The machines would be installed at Mexico’s 19 northern border stations, designated here by the orange circles as well as a few at Mexico’s southern border. (Google)

Rapiscan and Nuctech were the only companies that met all the requirements outlined by Sedena, which held a public tender to find a contractor to supply inspection machines at 21 border customs stations, 19 of which are in the north and 2 of which are in the south.

Rapiscan will provide and install 54 screening systems for the nonintrusive inspection of loaded cargo vehicles, 70 systems to inspect light vehicles, 18 systems to inspect empty cargo vehicles and four systems to inspect passenger buses.

Reforma described Sedena’s purchase as the most significant acquisition in the recent history of Mexico’s customs system.

The screening equipment on the Mexican side of the northern border has to be interoperable with equipment used by United States Custom and Border Protection.

Z-Portal machine by Rapiscan
An example of the “portals” Mexico will be buying. Different portals allow for nonintrusive scanning of vehicles of all sizes, with or without cargo. (Rapiscan)

Rapiscan’s screening systems — which are called portals — are slated to be installed in late 2023.

Sedena took full control of Mexico’s customs procedures in May of last year, and has since started updating its inspection systems. Sedena emphasized that the new scanning systems will strengthen its ability to detect contraband, including drugs and weapons.

Mexico is especially interested in stemming the southward flow of firearms, many of which end up in the hands of powerful – and violent – criminal organizations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said late last year that Mexico was in the grip of a “firearms pandemic” and urged the U.S. to do more to stop weapons being smuggled across its southern border.

The United States is particular concerned about the entry of illicit fentanyl, which causes tens of thousands of overdose deaths per year in that country.

With reports from Reforma 

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Jaguar surrounded by furniture and junk on a backyard patio at night in Cancun

Video of jaguar sighting in Cancún backyard goes viral

1
The video on social media shows the jaguar prowling a Cancún backyard patio at night and rummaging through the homeowner's belongings.

As heat breaks records in Mexico’s north, torrential rains pummel the south

1
Emergency officials across Mexico are dealing with both a northern heat wave with 50-degree-Celsius temps and heavy rains in the southeast.
Refugees displaced by an armed attack on their Chiapas town stand in the bleachers of a open air sports court and look at proceedings below through a protective wire fence

Over 4,000 residents flee Chiapas town following armed attack

6
Thousands in the Chiapas town who fled a June 4 armed attack by a criminal group refuse to go home until authorities can ensure their safety.