These new alliances outside the United States have generated significant rewards. Training provided by Customs ASCI teams to a BASC Chapter in Venezuela prompted a business owner there to alert Customs about a firm he suspected might be exporting cocaine inside laminated steel panels. He was right, and his insight allowed the Customs official in Caracas, along with the Venezuelan National Police, to seize more than 800 kilograms of cocaine headed for the streets of U.S. communities.

In June 1999, a businessman in Peru, recently trained by an ACSI team, had some misgivings about a container that had just been shipped from Peru to Rotterdam. He contacted the Customs Attache, who was able to forward information to Dutch authorities in time for them to meet and inspect the shipment when it arrived. And, the Peruvian businessman's tip paid off. The shipment contained 4,000 kilograms of cocaine. Dutch authorities allowed the shipment (and the drugs) to continue to its intended destination, Portugal. When it arrived, authorities seized the shipment and arrested its intended recipients: another victory for public-private teamwork.

BASC and ASCI Programs also have led to drug seizures and arrests closer to home. In July 1999, a corporate employee trained in anti-smuggling pointed Customs inspectors at a U.S. airport to an express shipment that was labeled, "Blood Samples." Instead of blood samples, however, inspectors found more than 62 pounds of cocaine. Customs special agents initiated a follow-up investigation that revealed this shipment of "blood samples" to be part of an internal conspiracy at the airport. (Customs Agents learned later that the conspiring airport employees had hoped to divert the package before inspectors could examine it.)





Accomplishing Together What Law Enforcement Can't Do Alone

"Partnerships" between U.S. law enforcement agencies and their customers are providing industry and its customers - - the public - - with a measure of security and a level of efficiency that enforcement agencies working alone often failed to achieve.

The reputation and credibility of business-led programs like BASC are growing fast. BASC already has been touted to the World Customs Organization (WCO) as a model and as an organization worth its weight in information and commitment. As a result, BASC will be included in a "WCO Partnership" program dedicated to identifying new ways Customs administrations can work with trade to head-off drug smugglers.

Reinventing the Federal government to "work better, cost less and deliver results Americans care about" has resulted in countless programmatic variations. But, the idea behind reinvention has remained constant.

The end-users of a service are often in the best position to tell its owners how it should be operated. Given the opportunity and the "voices," the government's customers, like the businessmen and women who created BASC, will show public agencies not only where they should be going, but also the best way to get there.

For more information, visit the U.S. Customs Service Internet site.




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