CANU to find safer way to dispose of cocaine

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), this morning disposed of just over forty-four kilograms of cocaine, however, the unit was forced to abort its mission due to health emergencies faced by its crew. Initially, the unit embarked on destroying just over 318 kilograms of cocaine which were seized between November 2013 to January 2017.

Cocaine being broken up before disposal at sea.

Deputy Head of CANU Lesley Ramlall speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) said that while carrying out the mission, ranks began vomiting and were complaining of upset stomach and dizziness. This led the mission being aborted.

Upon returning to CANU Headquarters, the narcotics were re-weighed by ranks of the unit, in the presence of media and representatives from the National Forensic laboratory. “What we found was a total of 44 kilograms 584 grams was disposed, therefore, giving us a difference of 273 kilograms 502 grams of narcotics and that being cocaine returning to the stores here headquarters at CANU”, Ramlall explained.

The remainder of the narcotics, Ramlall assured, will be disposed of at a later date. However, before execution, a decision will have to be made by his superiors on the way forward.

It was highlighted that CANU last disposed of narcotics in 2013, however, its last disposal by sea was in 1999. Ramlall stated that “before that, we burnt and maybe we would have to revert to that; the burning of the cocaine but as I said, no decision has been made at this time, that will be communicated to me by my superiors.” However, before reverting to burning the narcotics, a suitable location would have to be decided upon, due to health risks.

The street value of the initial cocaine to be destroyed was over $319M. However, if it had reached its destination, the value would have amounted to over $2B.


By: Isaiah Braithwaite

A sample of the narcotics being tested by a scientist from the Forensic Laboratory to ensure that it is cocaine.

Deputy Head, CANU Lesley Ramlall.



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