United States authorities alerted Mexico of the national security risks involved in buying border monitoring equipment manufactured by Nuctech, a company linked to the Chinese government. “They have deficiencies in detection capabilities, which could create opportunities for exploitation by the Chinese government,” warned an intelligence report sent by the State Department to Sedena.
(Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción).- Meanwhile, Ambassador Ken Salazar expressed the “growing concern” of the US over the acquisition of these monitoring systems. Despite the alerts, Mexico has already installed dozens of Chinese equipment in customs and ports, according to documents obtained by MCCI
The Mexican government installed scanning and surveillance equipment from a company linked to the Chinese government at border points, despite warnings from US authorities of a potential threat to national security and a history of corruption by the supplying company.
An intelligence report sent on April 22 by the State Department to the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) warned that the Nuctech company, a manufacturer of border scanning and surveillance equipment, had links with the Chinese government.
“We assess that it is very likely that Nuctech has a close and long-standing relationship with the Chinese government to promote Nuctech’s business interests and develop scanning and detection systems on behalf of the Chinese government,” the key points of the confidential report warn.
“Nuctech has engaged in and will likely continue to engage in illegal business practices including corruption, bribery and dumping to gain an unfair advantage in the marketplace,” reads the document, which cited past corrupt practices in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe as background. .
“Nuctech’s scanning and detection systems have deficiencies in detection capabilities, which could create opportunities for exploitation by the Chinese government,” the counterintelligence report said.
Ten days after this alert, the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, sent a letter to Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, in which he expressed “the growing concern” of the US government over the acquisition of Chinese equipment.
In the letter, dated May 2, Salazar warned the López Obrador government about the possible risks for the bilateral relationship that the purchase of scanning and security equipment from China, for the detection of drugs and weapons, in ports could bring. ports, the Felipe Ángeles Airport (AIFA) and the Dos Bocas refinery.
“I would like to communicate our growing concern about the recent announcements by the Government of Mexico regarding its plans to acquire scanning and security equipment from certain Chinese state entities (PRC) for the use of officials of the National Customs Agency, the Secretariat of National Defense and the Secretariat of the Navy”, refers to the letter from Salazar. “No Chinese scanning equipment met the quality control standards of the United States.”
In his letter, the Ambassador exhorted the Mexican Foreign Minister: “We encourage you to safeguard Mexico’s own security and preserve the potential gains from the exchange of bilateral information to improve border management by acquiring security equipment from proven and reliable providers.”
Although the ambassador does not mention in the letter the name of the Chinese company with which the Mexican government would carry out the acquisitions of equipment, documents and communications that emerge from the hacking of Sedena by the Guacamaya collective, they reveal that since April 22 the government The American had alerted the Mexican about the threats of the Nuctech company’s scanning and detection systems and its relationship with the Chinese Government.
A confidential report from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States, sent on that date by the Border Security coordinator of the Embassy in Mexico, Francisco Lage, warned of the close relationship of the Nuctech company with the government. as well as deficiencies in its detection systems, illegal and unfair business practices, and concerns about individual privacy.
The report addressed to the Sedena Liaison Office with the US Department of Defense, and also sent to the Customs Coordination Center, also warned that Nuctech’s scanning and detection systems related to Covid-19 could represent a threat to individual privacy due to the facial recognition technology it employs.