Mar 22, 2011 Editorial
There can be no reasonable explanation for the recent cocaine find among lumber shipped from Guyana. At present the authorities are pointing fingers in every direction except at themselves. Each individual who had something to do with either the logging industry or with the shipping of goods out of Guyana.
The international community is serious about fighting drugs that are headed for their ports. Indeed, the drugs fetch big dollars once they land in North America and even more when they land in Europe.
Because of this local dealers target those ports and there is a widely held view that most of the major constructions being undertaken are from the proceeds of the drug deals in Europe and North America. Because of this there are continued efforts to get the drugs to these ports.
Those who use the airports are the petty dealers who merely want a quick dollar. Indeed there was a time when large quantities of drugs left Guyana by air because there was a network both at home and at the North American ports—New York and Miami.
However, that is a mere trickle compared to what is moved by sea. There was the 6,000-kilo cocaine bust aboard the Danielson that still remains the largest cocaine bust made in Guyana.
There were other large busts, this time overseas. There was a large cocaine bust after the drug was found among lumber in the United Kingdom; there was a discovery of cocaine in coconut; and in Holland, cocaine in a shipment of molasses. There was also cocaine in furniture and cocaine in fish. The Europeans also found cocaine in pumpkins and in pepper sauce albeit a small quantity.
Cocaine in alcohol, cocaine in clothing, cocaine in wall frames and picture frames, cocaine in books and most dangerous of all, cocaine in stomach, have all been uncovered. There is even the belief that Guyana shipped bodies to North America and inside the bodies was cocaine.
All these products left Guyana ostensibly after they were checked. This means that someone either pretended to check as a result of some collusion with the shipper. The modus supports the saying—stricter the government, the wiser the population.
And so we come to this shipment that is making waves both in Guyana and in the Caribbean. We learn that an unchecked container was smuggled aboard a ship. Initially there were to be seven containers. Instead, there were eight.
How could this happen? Someone had the support to smuggle in the container without the requisite checks. Then there was the issue of the invoice detailing the shipment. The Jamaicans said that there was alteration on the original document. Why this eluded the Guyanese authorities is beyond imagination.
An investigation has been launched. Can the authorities detect the owner of the handwriting? This should be simple since not too many officials would have the audacity to alter documents. Then there is the container. It would not be too difficult to trace the owner of the container. Each company that loans a container has the name and address to which it is loaned.
Surprisingly, there have been no arrests. We have long said that the big fishes are never nabbed in Guyana. Perhaps they are too well connected.
The situation even becomes queer. The container was never intended to land in Jamaica. It was switched from one vessel to the other. The person who made the switch probably did something that turned out to be the undoing of the shippers.
Some people are asking “What’s the fuss?” They say that the drug problem is not Guyana’s. Rather the people who consume the drug encourage the shipments and they make the money available.
Because of this the international community should help. President Bharrat Jagdeo said that the help from the United States cannot pay the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit for a week.
One US embassy official once said that help would be success driven. He has not been true to his word. Meanwhile, Guyana will struggle to fight the drug dealers who have the potential to be a law unto themselves to the point of subverting governments.
But for now, some dealer lost a substantial amount of money and must really hate the Jamaicans.
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