$1.1B worth of drugs off the streets last year – CANU

The government has been investing millions of dollars in the security sector to provide a safe and secure environment for Guyanese.

This includes purchasing vehicles for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) while training police officers and allocating half a million dollars to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) to advance its work.

Head, Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit, James Singh

These investments have proven fruitful with the GPF recording a 19 per cent decrease in serious crimes and now CANU increasing its narcotics seizure in 2022. During 2022, CANU conducted several raids and was able to clear 3,403.68 kilogramnes of narcotics amounting to a street value of $1.1 billion off the streets.

This represents a 68.26 per cent increase in comparison to 2,022.88 kilogramnes of narcotics amounting to $634 million in 2021.

There were 24 cases of cocaine, 80 cases of cannabis, four cases of ecstasy, and two cases of methamphetamine in 2022.

Seizures were made in Regions Four, Six, Nine, Three, and Ten, with Region Four accounting for the largest narcotics seizure. In Region Four – 104.49 kilogrammes of cocaine, 410.12 kilogrammes of cannabis, 302.6 grammes of methamphetamine, 366 grammes of ecstasy, and one kilogramme of cannabis seeds were confiscated.

In Region Six – 50 grammes of cocaine, 2845.52 kilogrammes of cannabis, and 452.7 grammes of ecstasy were removed from the streets by the unit, while in Region Nine – 22 grammes of cocaine and 4.81 kilogrammes of cannabis were removed.

Meanwhile, in Region Three – 16.74 kilogrammes of cocaine and 118 grammes of cannabis were seized while in Region 10, 19.67 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized by CANU.

According to CANU’s data, the conviction rate saw improvements as there were 115 cases of narcotics in 2022, and 42 convictions. Comparatively, there were 75 cases in 2o21 with 24 convictions.

In addition, 21 weapons were taken off the streets by the unit and handed over to the Guyana Police Force, and 1,708 rounds of ammunition were also confiscated.

Last year, one crossbow, eight shotguns, and 12 pistols were handed over to the force.

In addition, CANU formed several units to bolster operations including the Metal Monitoring Unit, Joint Maritime Control Unit, and Container Scanning Unit.  It is also actively involved in investigating criminal activities such as terrorism, arms, human and wildlife trafficking.

Persons also completed training sessions internationally and locally to increase CANU’s human resource capacity. There was also greater collaboration among domestic agencies through successful joint operations.

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