European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) funds airplane scanner at Brussels Airport

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Thanks to financial support from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Brussels Airport will now become even more efficient in fighting smuggling, having acquired a state-of-the-art scanner van, able to X-ray airplanes. The scanner will be particularly used to detect trafficked cigarettes as well as narcotic products, which are not only illegal, but harmful for the health of European citizens.

The hi-tech scanner allows for fast and efficient targeted checks, which ensure more rapid processing of goods, saving time for economic operators. The scanner also reveals clear images, allowing for a quicker analysis. Moreover, the compact shape of the van and the agility of the device mean that customs officer can carry out a large number of scans in hard-to-reach places, including on the tarmac.

The new scanner is valuable for all,” said Kristian Vanderwaeren, Administrator General of the Belgian Customs and Excise Administration. “It increases the safety of Belgian citizens, as well as the efficiency of customs officers while saving time for professionals.

This is the second such device used in Belgium. The first scanner, also funded by OLAF in 2014, is used at the Port of Antwerp to inspect containers and trucks.

Smugglers are becoming increasingly creative, and customs agencies need to rise to the challenge,” OLAF Director of Investigations Ernesto Bianchi said. “We are happy to be able to help our Belgian colleagues in stemming cigarette and drug trafficking,” he added.

We always strive to improve the screening processes and make them more efficient’ added Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. ‘So I’m very happy that this Z Backscatter Van will be used at our airport as a tool in the fight against fraud and contraband.’

The scanner was purchased through the Hercule III, a financial programme specifically dedicated to fighting fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the EU. Hercule III provides for the collective procurement of specialised equipment and databases used by national law enforcement agencies, as well as for the training of anti-fraud specialists. The programme covers the period 2014-2020 and will provide a total of EUR 104.9 million of support to European Union Member States.

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