Coastal radar network “not linked to Navy” despite €31 million investment

SIVICC, Portugal’s €31 million coastal radar network, is not operating properly. The problem is that “a conflict between the GNR and the Navy” is “impeding” the sharing of information that the system picks up, reports Jornal de Notícias. This implies that suspicious craft – involved in drug or any other kind of trafficking – gets a head-start even after it has been detected. Bizarrely SIVICC is connected to Spanish authorities, adds JN.

But authorities have tried to play-down the story.

Diário de Notícias continued JN’s exposé with the news that “of the seven radars watching the coast only two work” and this brought GNR sources into the gathering fray to declare whether radar was working or not, whether information was being shared or not, the coast was “100% safe”.

Talking to TSF radio, GNR public relations spokesman Pedro Costa Lima said that “in areas where radars do not exist along the coast it is watched by agents with binoculars, guaranteeing that the level of efficiency of operations is maintained”.

Further attempting to calm concerns, he added: “The coast is under vigilance” but “there is an old system which is being substituted by a new system”.

The ‘blips’ are just “the normal transition process between two systems”, he stressed – though JN pointed out that the blips have been in existence for nine years.

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