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Bulgaria Opts for Z Backscatter Technology for Border Checkpoints

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American Science And Engineering Inc
: 03 March, 2010  (Application Story)
Mobile inspection systems will be deployed at Bulgarian border checkpoints utilising Z Backscatter technology to reveal illegal articles such as explosives, currency and contraband as well as detecting illegal immigrants
Bulgaria Opts for Z Backscatter Technology for Border Checkpoints
American Science and Engineering has announced that the National Customs Agency of Bulgaria has debuted the Company's top selling proprietary Z Backscatter Van (ZBV) mobile X-ray inspection system in a ceremony today. AS&E's ZBV will inspect cargo and vehicles entering Bulgaria's borders for contraband and threats. The ZBV has proven its ability to quickly and safely find contraband, including alcohol, tobacco, and other legal goods, smuggled to evade duties. With over 450 systems sold to over 90 customers in 47 countries to date, AS&E's ZBV is the number one selling non-intrusive mobile inspection system on the market.

'We are honoured to have participated in this ceremony to introduce Bulgaria's first Z Backscatter Van,' said Robert Postle, AS&E's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Sales. 'The highly mobile and versatile ZBV has been successfully used by border officials to perform rapid inspections of vehicles, and offers quick and reliable manifest and cargo verification to secure Bulgaria's borders. ZBV success stories from around the world continue to grow, with many reports of large tobacco, alcohol, and other illegal item seizures.'

'The National Customs Agency of Bulgaria is committed to strict control on import tariff on goods,' said Vanyo Tanov, Director General of the National Customs Agency of Bulgaria. 'Uncovering smuggled items result in increased income in the Bulgarian national budget. Customs officers will implement the ZBV into existing security protocols to facilitate effective scanning procedures.'

The number of ZBV success stories from around the world continues to grow, from seizures of large quantities of drugs, contraband cigarettes, and alcohol to the detection of stowaways and Bulk Explosives in war zones. One border security agency reported drug seizures in excess of 45,000 pounds in December, 2009 and January, 2010 using the ZBV at passenger vehicle checkpoints. The two largest seizures on the border occurred within days of each other, where two tractor trailers were referred to secondary inspection with the ZBV. Both resulted in seizures totaling 740 bundles of marijuana -- a combined 12,000 pounds -- hidden in produce shipments.

Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers uncovered 1,484 cartons and 158 packets of smuggled cigarettes in a bus hidden under floorboards. The potential customs duties for the duty-unpaid cigarettes totaled about $79,000, according to AsiaOne in March, 2009. AsiaOne also reported that the ZBV was used to interdict Singapore's largest haul of illegal tobacco products when a bus driver tried to smuggle them into the country through the Tuas Checkpoint.

The ZBV is designed to detect large amounts of organic material including:

* Illegal Drugs
* Trade Fraud Items such as alcohol, tobacco, and other legal goods smuggled to evade duties
* Currency
* Explosives including car and truck bombs
* Stowaways such as illegal immigrants and terrorists

The ZBV is a low-cost, highly mobile screening system built into a commercially available delivery van. The system's unique 'drive-by' capability allows one or two operators to conduct X-ray imaging while the ZBV drives past suspect vehicles and objects. The ZBV employs AS&E's Z Backscatter technology, which produces a clear, photo-like image and reveals threats and contraband that transmission X-ray systems miss.

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