31 July, 2007
US Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Countryman and Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Attaché Jacob Antoninis hosted award ceremonies on July 26 to recognize the professionalism and excellent work and cooperation of both the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Customs Agency, and embassy announcement said on Monday.
Merchant marine ministry secretary general Yiannis Tzoanos, and Coast Guard Deputy Commandant Rear Admiral Theodoros Rentzeperis both attended and expressed their satisfaction with the close relationship between Greek and American authorities in the fight against terrorism, drug and human traffickers, and other criminal elements. The American Chargé congratulated the Coast Guard on their good work and close synergy and, along with Tzoanos, Rentzeperis, and Antoninis, distributed awards to 12 Coast Guard officers for their contribution to law enforcement.
Later in the day in a separate ceremony, Chargé Countryman recognized 10 Customs officers for their contribution to the Container Security Initiative (CSI), a program initiated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Piraeus is one of 50 ports worldwide included in this initiative, and this event marked its third anniversary in Greece. In the framework of CSI, Hellenic Customs has already intercepted several cargo containers being imported into Greece containing weapons and narcotics. The Chargé, along with Ioannis Stathis from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Director General of Customs and Excise Nikolaos Vernadakis, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection CSI Team Leader presented the awards.
Source: Athens News Agency