Drug trade helped to create economic bubble – Min. Ramjattan
─ “We are definitely going after the big fish”
─ illegal drug trade inputs paint an incorrect picture of the economy
─ expect a lot more arrests
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 31 2018
The impact of the illegal drug trade was felt across the economy and resulted in its distortion. This view was put to forward by the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan in an exclusive interview. The minister said:
“There is no doubt that the parallel, dark side of the economy under the last administration, caused a bulging of the economy, in the sense of people having lots of money on the streets. The bubble had to burst, especially with a principled administration that wanted now to bring that to a halt.”
The minister noted that the flood of various types of currencies that entered Guyana, “had to be halted, and it was going to be halted the minute we started catching major drug criminals.”
Instructions have gone out to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and police officers, for them to “bring in the big fish, follow the trail!”
He added that some investigations entail a long process, “you just don’t jump on them with the small amounts. Do the surveillance and they have been doing a wonderful job”
“That is how people like ‘Big head’ got caught. That is certainly going to make a big dent into illegal foreign currency coming into the country”.
The minister stressed that the government did not want the country’s citizens to be indulging in cocaine and being a major drug transhipment point. Nothing distorts an economy like drugs money, he emphasised.
The absence of the drug-fuelled parallel economy will enable a better picture to be painted about Guyana’s true economic performance, Minister Ramjattan posited, “As to where we must plug our priorities for job creation and all of that.” He further noted that illegal drugs and the attendant cash flows, tend to distort the economy and the government will be unable to make proper fiscal assessments, “When they say the economy is bad, it is bad because we are getting the drug lords, because we are going good, principled things.”
The Public Security Minister warned, “Expect a lot more arrests!”
By: Paul Mc Adam.
Image by Department of Public Information.