CANU cleared $461.5M worth of narcotics in 2023 – Year-end report

– cannabis accounts for 94 per cent of narcotics seized

Despite several obstacles faced by the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) last year in its fight against illegal drugs, the unit cleared approximately 1363.28 kilograms of narcotics consisting of cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and hashish totalling $461.5 million.

Cannabis was the most confiscated drug, accounting for 94 per cent of the total narcotics seized for the year, with approximately 73 separate seizures amounting to 1,287.88 kilograms.

There were 18 seizures of cocaine amounting to 75.17 kilograms, three seizures of ecstasy totalling 0.124 kilograms, and One seizure of hashish to the amount of 0.102 kilograms.

The seized cannabis had a street value of $386.3 million while cocaine’s street value came up at 475.1 million.

Narcotic seizure by region

This is according to the unit’s statistical bulletin for 2023 provided by CANU’s Head, James Singh.

He reiterated the agency’s mandate to reduce the flow of narcotics while maintaining safer communities across Guyana.

“We will continue conducting strategic operations targeting drug trafficking networks to effectively disrupt supply chains, confiscating illegal substances, and apprehending key individuals involved in the drug trade. We are committed to furthering and strengthening our public outreach programmes and community partnerships since they have been crucial in increasing awareness about the perils of drug usage,” Singh underscored.

Head of CANU, James Singh

Meanwhile, eight firearms/weapons were confiscated as well as ammunition.

During 2023, a total of 80 arrests were made consisting of 70 males and 10 females, charging a total of 54 persons. The unit achieved a total of 47 convictions in the year.

The unit was actively involved in implementing reduction initiatives through collaboration with ministries and agencies to carry out Drug Awareness Campaigns, Youth Empowerment Programmes, and community outreaches. CANU also collaborated with other countries’ law enforcement agencies to carry out several joint operations that resulted in the seizure of large amounts of illegal drugs.