CANU and GPF destroy 4,000 kgs of cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs
The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Saturday destroyed 2,000 kilogrammes of cocaine and 2,000 kilogrammes of marijuana and other illicit drugs on Homestretch Avenue. The drugs destroyed were accumulated over a two-year period.
The destruction of the narcotics was overlooked by Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, MP, Deputy Commissioner ‘Operations’, Mr. Clifton Hicken; Deputy Commissioner ‘Administration’, Mr. Calvin Brutus, Head of CANU, Mr. James Singh and Head of the Narcotics Branch of the GPF, Superintendent Karl Wilson.
Minister Benn said since taking office, the Government has had significant success in relations to the seizure of illegal drugs and the destruction and capture of planes carrying illicit drugs. Some of the successful areas where planes were intercepted include Nine Miles, Potaro, Orealla and Kwakwani.
“The result is I think we have about three pilots of Brazilian origin in the prisons and some other who are also Guyanese who are also in prison. The number of planes destroyed I think we have three and we recovered two whole which will be put to use for operations of the police and the military,” the Minister said.
Minister Benn revealed that intelligence operations have led to Guyana assisting neighbouring countries in apprehending drug traffickers. These operations have led to significant seizure of cocaine and the capture of about three planes in Suriname.
The home Affairs minister also highlighted that the Government has been working to build the capacity of prosecutors to have more convictions in the courtroom as it relates to narcotics cases.
“There has been some training with the Attorney General’s Chambers and agencies in the United States and others, virtually and face-to-face with respect to prosecutorial training for the persons who have to go to court representing the state in respect of these and other matters,” Minister Benn said.
The CANU head also spoke on the importance of building the capacity of prosecutors.
“We recognise the fact that even though we may take a person before the court, there are some challenges. Persons are getting bail for smaller amount or in some cases believe it or not, persons are stepping forward to claim ownership in attempt to shield the real big fish. So, there are areas that we have to look at because this is not just about CANU instituting the charge, it would be GRA (Guyana Revenue Authority), SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit) and other agencies,” James stated. The destruction of narcotics is a regular exercise undertaken by CANU and the police force.