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Army replaces 700 sacked customs officers

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-17

700 Mexican customs officers were fired over alleged corruption charges and replaced along the US border by the country's army, government officials said. Mexico has expressed concern about US weapons crossing into the country.

AFP - Mexico's Army took control of customs Sunday on the busy US border, as federal authorities pulled agents off the job in a massive anti-corruption shakeup, officials told AFP.
  
An Interior Ministry official said the dismissals were being carried out at all the Mexican border facilities, and that the customs agents were being replaced.
  
Customs agents were sacked after some were found to be linked to contraband operations, according to sources at the ministry.
  
Agents in Nuevo Laredo, on the border with the southern US state of Texas, were called in Saturday and told they were being fired, and to hand in their badges and weapons.
  
Army troops took over customs border posts temporarily on Sunday. Mexican media said a total of 1,100 agents were fired.
  
Mexico and the United States share a border that stretches across some 2,000 miles (3,220 kilometers) and are partners with Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  
Mexico is in the midst of a raging war on organized crime, and has expressed serious concern about US weapons crossing into the country.

Date created : 2009-08-17

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