The efforts by the Police Narcotic Branch and the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit in the fight against drug trafficking have come in for high praises by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee.
“I am pleased with CANU and Police Narcotics Branch in respect of their constant and unrelenting investigation as they try their best to deal with this problem,” the Minister stated.
But the satisfaction came with some amount of criticism of unscrupulous ranks.
The Minister highlighted the incident when a portion of cocaine from that which was seized during a major drug bust at Batavia in the Mazaruni went missing while being held as exhibits at the Bartica Police Station.
He however noted that an investigation has been launched by the Police Office of Professional Responsibility.
“I believe that notwithstanding these negatives, it is clear that the Police and CANU are making a determined effort to address the issue of drug trafficking.”
Pointing to figures, Rohee said that in 2011, the police had 100 seizers of cocaine and 400 seizures of cannabis. The marijuana carried a street value of US$1.3M and the cocaine was worth US$2.9M.
In addition the police destroyed some 94 fields of marijuana which amounted to a value of US$104M.
There were 56 convictions for marijuana and 189 for cocaine.
Also for 2011, CANU had 30 busts, the cocaine worth US$500,000 and US$1M worth of cannabis.
They also made 38 arrests and 14 convictions.
However, the Minister pointed out that despite the efforts by the agencies there continues to be instances of persons swallowing cocaine for export. The most recent being an employee of the Georgetown Magistrates Court, Terry De Fraitas who was caught with close to one kilo of cocaine in his stomach.
“We still have attempts in false bottom suitcases, false shoe soles, fuel containers, fish, shrimp and condiments, religious items, fake wheelchairs and cargo containers.”
Nonetheless the police are very alert to the means to export, the Minister asserted.
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