Prime Wages War on Drugs and Terrorism

Prime Wages War on Drugs and Terrorism

Membership in the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition (BASC), a business-led, Customs-supported alliance created to combat the smuggling of contraband via commercial trade, is a "Prime" example of the company's proactive approach to the war on drugs and terrorism.

The BASC was initiated in March 1996. Prime Inc. was introduced to the program in September 1998, when company representatives were invited to Laredo, Texas, to hear more about it. Upon learning the BASC's primary objective is to combat the movement of illicit narcotics via commercial shipments, Prime requested participation in the program as a business partner. The company's application was accepted in October, and Prime has been actively involved in the coalition ever since.

Although the BASC is a voluntary program for businesses, with no Customs-imposed mandates, corporate participants are expected to set self-imposed business standards that will significantly deter narcotics traffickers and terrorists. As part of the application process, Prime was asked to mark a checklist, noting the measures the company was currently taking to deter narcotic smuggling. The checklist and Prime's markings are as follows:

X - Policies and procedures governing Anti-Smuggling concerns.
X - Conduct background checks on employees: (X) Criminal (X) References ( ) Other
X - A drug free workplace policy.
X - Perform drug testing: (X) pre-employment (X) random (X) reasonable suspicion
X - A drug awareness program: (X) training (X) printed material (X) posted notices
X - Employee identification procedures: (X) photo (X) color coded (X) visible at all times
X - Facility security: (X) perimeter fence (X) security guards (X) lighting (X) controlled access
X - Segregated parking: (X) employees (X) visitors (X) trucks
X - Procedures for reporting the discovery of illegal drugs: (X) internal (X) external
X - Procedures for reporting illegal drug use.
X - Employee incentive for reporting illegal drug activity.
X - An employee policy manual.
X - Site map identifying secure areas within the facility.
N/A - Limited access to shipping / receiving areas
N/A - Limited access to conveyances.
X - Maintain control of all conveyances.
X - Maintain control of all seals.
X - Inspect empty conveyances.
X - Seal, lock and secure all loaded trailers / containers.
X - Procedures for reporting suspicious shipments: (X) internal (X) external
X - System to track movement of shipments: (X) manual (X) computerized
X - Training of personnel to identify suspect shipments.
X - Procedures for controlling / processing documentation.
X - A policy requiring signatures for the following transactions; (X) paperwork preparation; (X) affixing of seals; (X) breaking of seals; (X) physical piece counts; (X) trailer inspections; (X) driver checklists
X - Anti-drug agreements with other business partners: (X) written (X) oral
X - Time controls for preparing documentation; movement of shipments; and unloading shipments upon arrival. (X) Procedures for making notifications if significant delays exist in any of the aforementioned.

Prime has benefited from the company's participation in the BASC program. "Since we have been working proactively with U.S. Customs, we have an even stronger relationship with them," says Randy Price, Director of Corporate Security at Prime Inc. "Law Enforcement tend to trust coalition business partners and known associates, so we have experienced benefits with our participation in the program."

Prime actively assists law enforcement agencies nationwide on a daily basis and is continually enhancing security procedures. The company anticipates cooperating with government entities even more in the future. "We look forward to working with Director Tom Ridge and the newly formed Office of Homeland Security in the war on drugs and terrorism," says Price.

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