Speedier Schiphol drug searches
20 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Drug inspections at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will be speeded up to minimise delays for detained passengers who are later proven innocent.
20 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Drug inspections at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will be speeded up to minimise delays for detained passengers who are later proven innocent.
A spokesman for the Justice Ministry said on Fridaythat medical teams who conduct the scans of suspected drug smugglers will work on a 24-hour basis in future.
Currently, the 'body scans' which are used to determine whether a passenger has swallowed drugs to elude detection are carried out twice a day.
It means that suspects are often forced to wait for a long time before they are scanned and — if no drugs are found — proven innocent, allowing them to leave the airport.
Travellers from the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname and South American nations are subjected to '100 percent inspections' at given times throughout the day.
Every passenger on flights arriving from these regions is inspected for the presence of drugs.
But passengers primarily from the Antilles and Suriname are opposed to the rigorous inspections.
Several hundred people demonstrated earlier this week in The Hague against the allegedly degrading inspections, which are often involve internal searches of the anus and vagina.
The Justice Ministry spokesman said the internal searches are considered necessary because the body scans only detect the presence of drugs that have been swallowed.
The body scans involve the use of an x-ray-like scanner which can recognise non-organic substances in people's bodies.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news