Thanks to RFID, even Borat, the outrageous character played by British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, won't be able to pull a fast one on customs agents in his native land, the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Customs Control Agency (CCA) in that country has implemented an RFID-based cargo monitoring system at several checkpoints on its border with China. Local systems integrator Science Technical Center installed the technology, which relies on an integrated RFID system from Hi- G-Tek of Rockville, Md. That system includes Hi-G-Tek's outdoor data readers, handheld readers, and reusable electronic locks to monitor vehicles. The RFID readers transmit a programmed electronic manifest for the contents of each truck when it enters the country, and on-board sensors issue alerts if anyone tampers with the locks.
Kazakhstan's customs authorities bought the system to help prevent black market smuggling and increase customs revenues. According to Rashid Abderzakov, Science Technical Center's general manager, some $2 billion worth of trade passes through the mountainous nation en route from China to Europe each year. The system has been so successful in reducing cargo crime at the border, he said in a statement, that the CCA plans to install it at all border checkpoints.