China's Nuctech gets OK to install X-ray machine for Lithuanian customs

  • 2021-08-12
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Polish unit of Nuctech, earlier this year eliminated from Lithuanian airports' baggage scanner tender over national security concerns, has been allowed to install X-ray machine at Kena border crossing point on the Belarusian border.

The Lithuanian government's special governmental commission vetting deals of importance to national security on Thursday issued a positive conclusion on the deal between Lithuania's Customs Department and Nuctech Warsaw, Kestutis Kancinskas, an adviser to the Lithuanian prime minister, confirmed it to the national radio LRT on Thursday.

"Taking what's been happening on the Belarusian border into account, the illegal migrant crisis and the fact that contraband volumes have been rising tens of times and the fact that our customs officers need to do checks manually, so for that work to be done more effectively, that;s the main reason why we made such a decision. It’s not the best one, but it's the one our customs officers need the most," Lancinskas told BNS.

In his words, the deal received backing "with a huge list of conditions and preconditions" in terms of deadlines, software, internet connections and many other things.

Vytautas Vitkauskas, a spokesman for Nuctech, says the equipment could be installed by the middle of next year,

Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said last week that the Kena crossing point on the border with Belarus needed an X-ray machine as soon as possible. 

In February, the governmental commission decided that the planned airport scanner deal with Nuctech did not meet national security interests. 

Nuctech then dismissed the national security concerns, saying that its equipment is produced in the Polish capital "under the strictest applicable EU and national performance and safety standards".

Critics say that Nuctech's "extreme low-level pricing strategy" suggests that its motives are not commercial but rather "an interest to control strategic EU infrastructure and data driven knowledge", according to the Wall Street Journal.