Bahrain to tighten security at Causeway
Manama, January 23, 2008
Bahrain is considering beefing up security measures at the King Fahad Causeway to combat terrorism and organised crime, an expert has revealed.
Sita vice-president Thomas Marten said the country was one of several in the Gulf looking at strengthening its borders against criminals, including human traffickers and drug smugglers.
The Vienna-based organisation provides IT business solutions and communication services to the air transport industry with clients in 220 countries, including the Bahrain government.
Marten said while most countries have focused on improving air transport security following the growth of the sector, land borders were now coming more into the spotlight.
He said options under consideration at the King Fahad Causeway include the introduction of a licence plate recognition system to track vehicles coming in and out of the country, as well as more advanced CCTV technology.
Marten said better security measures should also help speed up waiting times at the Bahrain-Saudi border, which has been plagued by congestion in recent months.
'Bahrain is a very open country and when you are open like that, you need to ensure security and that is one of the challenges they face,' Marten told the Gulf Daily News.
'You need to use sophisticated information technology tools to guarantee security.
'A (terrorist) strike at an airport is spectacular, but a criminal may drive a car full of drugs across a land border if they think that is easier.'
He was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day e-Learning roundtable forum organised by British Publishers.
The event has brought together government and business leaders from across the Middle East and Europe to discuss challenges facing the industry including border security, e-learning and information and communications technology.
Marten singled out Bahrain as being the first country in the Middle East to adopt new technology to boost border security, including the planned introduction of an electronic visa system and advanced passenger processing, which he said should be fully functional by year-end.-TradeArabia News Service