Apr 01, 2018 News
…says Govt. has demonstrated strong political will to combat trafficking
Drug-related corruption is evident in the country’s criminal justice system and other sectors, according to a recently released report from the United States (U.S).
According to the March 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) released by the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, drug traffickers are attracted by Guyana’s poorly monitored ports, remote airstrips, intricate river networks, porous land borders, corruption, and weak security sector capacity.
“Despite these challenges, the Government of Guyana has demonstrated a strong political will to combat the trafficking of narcotics in and through Guyana,” the U.S report stated.
In the report, the U.S did not specify any case to support evidence of drug-related corruption in the criminal justice system. However, the U.S noted that the APNU+AFC coalition, which took office in May 2015, has expressed a strong willingness to cooperate further with the United States on drug control, extradition, mutual legal assistance, and other international crime issues.
The INCSR stated that the U.S looks forward to tangible progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions, security sector capacity enhancement, the engagement of at-risk communities, and enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes. The major limiting factor, according to the U.S, is a lack of resources.
In September 2017, the report highlights, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, supported by U.S funding, appointed a representative to Guyana to support and strengthen the national capacity to fight anti-corruption and money laundering activities.
During the first six months of 2017, the U.S pointed out that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) reportedly seized 22 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and approximately 12 kg of cannabis, while the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) seized approximately 248 kg of cocaine and approximately 66 kg of cannabis.
It was noted that local authorities initiated 503 prosecutions and convicted 227 individuals for drug trafficking during this six-month period.
Guyana has a drug enforcement presence at its international airports, post offices, and, to a lesser extent, at port and land-border entry points. The U.S continues to identify Guyana as a transit country for cocaine destined for the U.S, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa.
According to the U.S, cocaine originating in Colombia is smuggled to Venezuela and onward to Guyana by sea and air. Smugglers also transit land borders and the shared river network with Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname.
The U.S noted that cocaine is concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled through commercial and private air transport, maritime vessels, human couriers, “go-fast” boats, and various postal systems.
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