Local February 5, 2013 | 12:25 pm

The U.S. lists Dominican Republic’s port security shortcomings

Santo Domingo. – U.S. Embassy chief of staff Daniel Foote on Tuesday said Dominican Republic needs better port security, more staff training on security, funding and stronger effort against corruption in its terminals.

He called those factors key threats to port security and the country’s main challenges.

The diplomat said although drug trafficking by air has been has been halted, it has increased through the ports. He said drug trafficking rings also smuggle weapons, people and counterfeit money.

Foote said the U.S. has stated to the Dominican Government Washington’s desire to bolster the capacities of canine units at ports, and can be trained to detect anything, adding a tool to enhance security of the terminals.

He stressed the efforts by agencies form both countries to improve port security. "Of course there’s still a lot to be done, but president Medina’s Administration has given us unprecedented support in recent months and I’m sure that the U.S. and the DR will continue to work closely together to make our ports and our maritime trade even more safe and efficient."

Foote was guest speaker at the breakfast hosted by the Dominican Shipping Association, addressed the topic "Development of customs and trade relations between the United States and the Dominican Republic."

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