The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on Monday morning began its annual staff training aimed at enhancing the capabilities of its officers and building greater cooperation between the agency and its local and international counterparts.
As the session began, officers of CANU were schooled on the current and projected drug demand and distribution rates.
Deputy Head of CANU, Lesley Ramlall, during his address alerted officers as to the expectations for the upcoming year 2020 as he noted that the sale of narcotics is expected to rise.
“Coming out of the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Azerbaijan, we were told that it is anticipated that in 2019 to 2020 there will likely be an enormous increase in the flow of narcotics globally.
“This was attributed to the vast reduction in the destruction of the coca plant in one of the producing countries mainly due to environmental and humanitarian concerns,” said Ramlall.
Officers were made aware of the fact that the demand for various new types of narcotics is also on the rise due to the amount of record seizures locally and in the region.
Ramlall went on to inform CANU ranks that the Caribbean is still the global hot zone for narcotics trafficking despite the fact that there has only been one recorded seizure in the Caribbean region for 2019.
“Looking at the situation in the Caribbean, there have not been any significant seizures thus far for 2019 except for one in our neighboring country in the east.
“However, we must be cautious of this since over the last eight years the amount of cocaine flowing through the Caribbean region has more than quadrupled, increasing from more than 35 metric tons in 2010 to 184 metric tons in 2018,” he said.
The destruction of five laboratories set up to manufacture synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy and Bath Salts in one country has indicated to the agency that the trafficking of these types of drugs has now risen to levels where it has become a major cause for concern.
Vice President and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan looked to put the importance of the local fight against narcotics into perspective by informing the ranks of the negative effects drugs trafficking can have on Guyana as a nation moving forward.
“I want to tell you that it corrupts governments, it corrupts the commercial sector of a society, it corrupts the law enforcement – this thing called drugs.
“The people behind it do not care as to the consequences of what happens to adults and young children that become addicted; all they care for is the profits.”