Greater coordination amongst drug fighting agencies to deal with illegal drugs  – Minister Harmon

Georgetown, GINA, August 4, 2016

Government is making changes to its strategies as it intensifies the battle against illegal drugs, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon told the media today.

The Minister was at the time responding to questions about the yet to be released CANU Inquiry also known as the ‘Dataram Report’, at a post-Cabinet media briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.

Minister Harmon said that the final report will be released eventually by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.

He explained however, that the report contains sensitive information. “It is a matter of how you treat with this information. It will affect reputations of people who are in office and so on because these are allegations that have been made against public officials, and the investigation would have dealt with these allegations.”

Some of these allegations have been placed in the public domain, Minister Harmon noted and “sometimes the public may take judgment based on what has been put out there in the allegations.”

Minister Harmon refused to say whether there would be a “major shakeup” of the leadership of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) due to the findings of the report. However, “the architecture of the fight against drugs will undergo some changes, with the establishment of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency that will see greater levels of coordination between the agencies that are involved in the fight against illegal drugs. I’m not saying there is going to be a shakeup, but there is going to be a greater coordination.”

Additionally, the Minister of State sounded a warning to those engaged in the illegal drug trade. “The drug dealers out there can be assured that the Government is going to take a very firm stance on the matter and that we are going to increase the style of coordination of these agencies.”

The National Anti-Narcotics Agency will coordinate the activities of CANU, the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Guyana Police Force.

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