Cops seek several ‘key players’ in ship cocaine bust
The police are seeking several “key players” into Saturday’s drug bust from a vessel moored near the Demerara Distillers Limited ( DDL) Wharf.
Officers from the Police Anti Narcotics Unit unearthed a quantity of illegal substance suspected to be cocaine, heroin or cannabis onboard the MV Bizzard B.
Sources yesterday said that the police are working along with Customs Anti Narcotics Unit.
According to sources the detained crew is working along with the police.
Kaieteur News was told that the vessel came from Suriname and was destined for Ecuador, South America.
Sources said that the vessel arrived on Friday evening. It was during routine checks by the police and customs that a bag containing the illegal substance was discovered.
More ranks were summoned and they started searching the vessel. That search came out empty handed.
This newspaper was told that this was the first time that the vessel had come to Guyana.
Only last month Jamaican authorities discovered cocaine stashed away in a sealed container on board the MV Vega Azurit, a vessel which had left Guyana.
This is the third time in recent months that the same boat was busted for drug trafficking.
The discovery was made at Port Bustamante by the Jamaican Customs Contraband Enforcement Team and personnel from the Jamaican Constabulary Force.
According to sources, the drug was said to have been concealed in a 40-foot refrigerated container declared as being empty.
The container was searched and five boxes labelled Coke, Pepsi and Canada Dry had the drug inside.
The drug was tested and amounted to 50 lbs (22.7kg) of pure cocaine. The estimated value is $48M Jamaican dollars (approx. US$560,000 or G$113M)
The vessel, an Antigua and Barbuda registered one, had left neighbouring Suriname a few days ago before coming to Guyana.
It was the same ship, MV Vega Azurit, in March, on which Jamaican authorities found 122 kilograms of cocaine in a consignment of timber from Guyana.
Several persons were questioned here in connection with the drug bust, but no charges were ever instituted.
In March, 112.5 kilos of cocaine were also seized from the ship during an operation.
On May 31, last, the GRA in keeping with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization for the exportation of products to the United States and other regions, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced that its US$1M Container Scanner was fully operational.
The scanner was put into service on May 23, 2011, to meet the growing demand for thorough inspection of containers to ensure compliance with regulations regarding shipping to the United States of America and to halt the secreting of illicit substances with declared cargo.