Subject: LUSA: Gov't says UN-donated sea patrol craft need replacing

East Timor: Gov't says UN-donated sea patrol craft need replacing

Dili, July 27 (Lusa) - The East Timor government says inflatable rafts donated by the United Nations to patrol the new nation's territorial waters are not safe to use and the Dili authorities have asked donor nations to supply replacement craft.

Interior Minister Rogério Lobato said Tuesday that the second- hand inflatable dinghies given to Timor by the UN were already "very patched" and he was wary of sending police out to patrol Timor's 600km-long coastline.

Smugglers are aware of the current shortage of effective maritime patrols and surveillance, said Lobato, and are bringing contraband from West Timor to Timor by sea, sometimes even bringing goods directly into the capital.

EL/CJB.

Lusa


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