Sep 14, 2013 News
Ranks of the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) destroyed 431 kilos of cocaine and marijuana yesterday during an eradication exercise on Homestretch Avenue.
The exercise which was held in an open lot where the Ministry of Housing was housed saw officials from CANU and their ranks opening sealed containers in the presence of media personnel. These contained cocaine disguised as fish food, in Fernleaf milk tins, in custard powder packets, cologne gift sets, greeting cards and even in beverage bottles.
Ranks of the narcotics branch also demonstrated a test to show reporters who were present how to test for cocaine. On display yesterday was also a bag of 17 large pellets which had been swallowed by a drug mule.
According to the head of CANU, James Singh, the drugs were seized by CANU and other agencies during operations from January to September 2013. The felons in these drug cases were all convicted and as such the agency took the opportunity to destroy the illegal substances.
“The total quantity we have here is 401 kilos of cocaine and 30.5 kilos of marijuana”, Singh said. Singh told reporters that the total value of the cocaine that was destroyed yesterday, on the American market is an average US$14M but in European countries the value would have been much more. The marijuana had a street value of US$300,000.
He noted that some of these drugs were destined for the United States of America and Europe. Singh added however that there are still more drugs that were seized but the trials in those matters are still ongoing. The narcotics according to Singh were mostly seized at Airports, Post Offices and during search operations. There was some marijuana seized at the Ogle International Airport but those cases are also ongoing.
Singh also said that there were also narcotics that were destined for China that were intercepted. “With all the law enforcement agents across the region, traffickers are looking for new markets, traditionally in North America, but now we are seeing new markets in Europe, Africa and as far as Asia,” Singh explained.
The CANU official noted that collaborating with other agencies has produced an excellent outcome. “These are just some of the fruits of that relationship as I said from the beginning that the drugs that are seized these days are results by CANU and other agencies including the police narcotics branch,” Singh said.
Singh said that he could not say exactly what quantity of drugs is being shipped into Guyana but said that because the country’s geological location which many times serves as a transshipment point for traffickers, there are a lot more seizes.
“The press can tell me how much drugs we are seeing being seized outside of Guyana as opposed to what is being seized here on our shores,” Singh said. The CANU boss added that because of the many seizes it now makes it harder for traffickers in terms of the ease of access that they once had.
According to the CANU head, most of the drugs seizing operations is intelligence driven and they come with challenges. “Traffickers use different innovative methods and they have no respect for borders and law enforcement. As some would say, it’s a cat and mouse game so it’s always a challenge,” Singh said.
The CANU head noted that because of support from other law enforcement agencies locally and internationally and also from the various task forces, there has been a more collective effort and the sharing of resources, including intelligence.
Singh said that since the last shipment of narcotics in rice to the Dominican Republic, CANU has had close collaborative efforts with the said country and with Jamaica.
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