CANU destroys over $523M worth of marijuana seized

– Min. Benn lauds success in fight against drug trafficking

The valiant efforts of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit and other agencies continue to bear fruit as over 3,000 pounds of marijuana valued over $523 million were on Saturday destroyed. The narcotics destroyed were seized at various ports in Guyana.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, Head of CANU James Singh and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry Mae Thomas witnessing the destruction of the marijuana

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn addressing the media said he was pleased with the efforts of CANU and the Guyana Police Force in curbing the trafficking, sale and removal of narcotics in the country.

“The frequency of seizures has increased dramatically over the past year. we have had outstanding successes where we are not only seizing large quantities of narcotics but also the vehicles, the boats and the aeroplanes too in relation to this nefarious activity. The use of narcotics particularly in our communities is destructive to those communities and particularly of the youth and it encourages crime and violence,” he said.

The marijuana before it was destroyed

The Home Affairs Minister pointed out that Guyana is a minor transit point for trafficking of narcotics, noting that most of the marijuana seized was destined for North America and Europe.

“We are not the users and the buyers of narcotics which are leaving the country for other destinations, and so we continue to look forward to and we are asking for more support particularly from those countries which are the final destinations of these narcotics. I think we have a desperate need there, and if we get more support in terms of assets, we will do a much better job in respect in interdicting the flow of narcotics,” the Minister stated.

Head of CANU James Singh said collaboration is key for the successful seizing of narcotics which also makes for better communities.

The marijuana being destroyed

He explained that “increased success is a result of support from the Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as more interagency collaboration. Ninety per cent of our operations we do are as a result of intelligence sharing among the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force and it is part of the whole national security strategy in ensuring safer communities and a safer country.”

The destruction of the narcotics took place at the old Ministry of Housing burnt-out site on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown. It was witnessed by Minister Benn, Head of CANU Singh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mae Thomas and members of the media.

In September 2021, CANU undertook a similar exercise that saw the destruction of 2,000 kilogrammes of cocaine and 2,000 kilogrammes of marijuana and other illicit drugs.