Mexico Replaces Customs Staff, Revamps Borders

borderAssociated Press, 8/16/2009

Mexico has replaced all 700 of its customs inspectors with agents newly trained to detect contraband, from guns and drugs to TVs and other big-ticket appliances smuggled to avoid import duties.

The shake-up – part of a broader effort to root out corruption and improve vigilance at Mexican ports with new technology – doubled the size of Mexico’s customs inspection force.

The inspectors at all 49 of Mexico’s customs points were replaced with 1,400 better-educated agents who have undergone background checks and months of training, Tax Administration Service spokesman Pedro Canabal said Sunday.

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