Aug 21, 2020 News
– but probe reveals deep worry of systems at GRA
A recent major seizure of one and half tonnes of cocaine in Germany was more than likely loaded in another country.
This was made clear in a statement by the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) which has been conducting the local probe.
The seizure had been linked to containers of rice exported by a major Berbice miller.
The incident had threatened a major part of the country’s rice export market which is controlled by the company.
According to CANU yesterday, the seizure was made on August 10 at Hamburg Port, Germany by police.
CANU found that the drugs were discovered in a 20-foot container containing several bags of white rice shipped from Guyana.
“The said contaminated container was one out of a shipment of a total of 12 20-feet containers. That entire shipment of the 12 containers comprised 6,000 bags of white rice intended for export to a company in Poland. The vessel intended to transport the said 12 containers was loaded and sailed from Guyana between the 25th and 26th May, 2020.”
According to CANU, it was confirmed that all 12 of the said containers were scanned locally by operatives of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and no narcotic was detected nor were their seals appeared to have been tampered with.
In fact the containers were in-transit elsewhere.
“It is key to note that the said vessel which departed Guyana arrived on June 7th, 2020 in another territory where the said 12 containers were reportedly off loaded in that territory and remained in –transit for a total of six days after which those 12 containers which included the one later found to be contaminated were then re-loaded onto another vessel different from the vessel that initially transported those 12 containers from Guyana.
That said second vessel with the 12 containers and its other cargo then arrived in Hamburg, Germany on June 27th, 2020 and discharged the said 12 containers the following day, June 28th, 2020.
“The said 12 containers remained at their boarded location in Germany for several days after which they were then searched and the suspected narcotic were intercepted on Monday 10th August 2020.”
According to CANU, there was evidence that the container was handled elsewhere.
“Importantly, newspaper clippings out of the territory in which the said 12 containers remained in-transit were found to have been used to wrap some of the bundles of suspected narcotic intercepted in Germany.”
CANU said it has conducted an extensive investigation into the handling, shipping and export of this shipment of white rice and “has not yet found conclusive evidence that suggests that the suspected narcotic was loaded onto the contaminated container in Guyana.”
Nevertheless, the entity was worried.
It said it has unearthed loopholes and irregularities regarding the local handling of the shipment which has resulted in a collaborative investigation by CANU and GRA seeking to amend same.
“CANU’s investigation continues.”
Message: CANU will continue to participate in inter-agency collaborations in its bid to tighten the grip on Narcotic distributors throughout the Country.
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