MONTREAL, Que. — Although a senate report suggests organized criminals run the Port of Montreal, port chief Dominic Taddeo says it is not as bad as senator Colin Kenny says it is.
“Let’s get the facts straight,” Taddeo says.
Only nine shipping containers have been reported stolen in the past six years, he says, adding that the number of break-ins to containers has dropped to 21 last year from 78 in 1996.
That is out of one million containers that pass through the port every year, the chief executive officer says. “It is not something that is rampant by what I’ve seen.”
Taddeo’s perception differs from that of Kenny, whose committee on national security found the port was controlled by a local crime family, which he didn’t name.
The committee’s report also said many workers who unload ships or re-route their loads have criminal records for serious offences. That information came from unnamed police officers who testified before Kenny’s committee.
Police have said for years that Canadian ports are sieves that make it easy for drugs to enter the country.
“It is evident that organized people are exchanging illegal products,” Taddeo acknowledges. But he says that is the problem of police and Customs agents, not the port authority.
Security measures are being taken. A $3-million system of 40 cameras watches over the entire port area.
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