timberland boot How safe are Connecticut
NEW HAVEN, Conn. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors found hundreds of packages of fake and dangerous laundry detergent. Despite the label reading “Tide”, a chemical test found it laced with formaldehyde.
That’s just one of the thousands of illegal items pulled from ports that end up seized in a federal warehouse. Between June 2013 and June 2014, federal inspectors found more than $1.2 billion worth of illegal items.
Connecticut’s ports are small and get mostly sand, salt, and oil. But, that does not stop counterfeiters from trying to sneak things through. Across the state, illegal items do come in and are housed in one of the four federal warehouses in New Jersey.
“They get crafty,” said Al D’Onofrio, Deputy Chief of Tactical Operation Division. “It’s a cat and mouse game. We get a lot of it. We strive to get all of it.”
D’Onofrio showed News 8 and our partners at the New Haven Registera spread of illegal wares seized at ports. Boots that have rubber concealing a fake “Timberland” logo. A fake Disney logo hidden on a backpack underneath another cartoon. These are just two examples of the products CBP officers find.
“We’re a very interested and curious bunch of people,
CPB officers,” said D’Onofrio.
It is notjust issues with the cargo that is potentially changing at ports. could have an effect on ports in Connecticut. Currently, ports have security similar to an airport: You need a ticket to a ship, security needs to know who you are, and they have the right to search your belongings before ushering you to the ship. The issue comes with the cost associated with shore leave. Many seafarers say they are charged $400 to leave the port and $400 to get back in. New provisions would allow nearly anyone through the port gates.
“It seems like securing our ports has become secondary,” said Ralph Goliettino with Port Security Services Inc. “Who is vetting the people that are foreigners that are going to visit them? There are no provisions to vet the people that are going to come through these terminals.”
The cost of shuttling a larger number of people through the ports would fall entirely on the companies at the port and would not take taxpayer money. That was a statement made to the Coast Guard at a hearing on the proposed changes earlier this year.
“It is affecting recruitment and retention. A lot of foreign seafarers are refusing to take ships to the United States because of the way they’re harassed and treated like criminals or terrorists rather than professional mariners.”
It all comes down to money. Who will pay for these changes if they come down is something being hotly debated.
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