Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs donated sophisticated vehicle search-related equipment to the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia. The donation was handed over by the HM Ambassador Rachel Galloway and the International Operations Director David Huntly at a ceremony held today, 8th May 2019.

Customs Director General Gjoko Tansoski noted that the equipment the customs officers use is often the only way to prevent and detect a particular type of threat. Hence, its regular use and appropriate handling is standard in everyday operations. He also stated that the support and the established cooperation with the UK customs authorities is aimed at improving the existing and application of new techniques and modalities of work through exchange of information and best practices in fighting  crime, which is also a contribution to faster customs procedures and trade in general. Director General Tanasoski added that under the established cooperation and program, advanced training courses on vehicle search for 20 customs officers have already been delivered in the United Kingdom. The donated specific equipment and the acquired knowledge and skills will further help increase the search capacities and the results in detecting customs offenses.

International operations Director Huntly expressed his satisfaction with the initiated cooperation and emphasized that this will grow into a long-term cooperation aimed at combating organized and serious crime.

HM Ambassador Galloway noted that today’s event is a clear reflection of the promise they made at last year’s Western Balkans Summit in London and that this is only the beginning of UK’s assistance. She stated that fighting tax and customs crimes and laundering of the proceeds of these crimes helps safeguard economies and thus stimulate and build prosperity. Increased ability of customs officers to deploy new searching techniques and equipment will help tackle the shared threats of serious and organised crime and economic crime. She added that combating serious and organised crime and corruption is a key strand in our cooperation, which spreads across two important areas – security and prosperity.  

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