DDL ‘convinced’ its rum shipment was not contaminated with cocaine when it left Guyana


Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), the producers of El Dorado rum, says it is convinced that the more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine intercepted in the Netherlands in a container containing their rum did not originate in Guyana.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the company stated that it is convinced that the various “checks and balances” executed in Guyana, including those from its own security mechanisms employed at its Diamond plant, would have detected any illegal substances.

Importantly, DDL expressed concern and a lack of confidence in the transhipment routes – similar to those expressed by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Customs Anti- Narcotics Unit (CANU).

An earlier press release from the Customs Anti- Narcotic Unit (CANU) also hinted at possible tampering of the shipment in the unnamed Caribbean territory. The shipment of rum was offloaded in that country and stayed in the Caribbean territory for five days.

Meanwhile, a GRA press release emphasised that it has instituted a system of rigid controls. This system, GRA said, limits the probability of narcotic substances being exported or transshipped through Guyana’s ports.

“(DDL) hopes that more effective security and detection measures would be implemented so as to prevent contamination of shipments that threaten the credibility of reputable companies and their products which earn significant foreign exchange for the nation,” the DDL press release emphasised.

Importantly, too, DDL highlighted that the contamination of the container was discovered by staff of the company’s contracted bonded warehouse. And it said that the staff immediately called in the relevant law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands. Following that, DDL said it informed the GRA. CANU was subsequently informed by both the Netherlands authorities and the GRA.

After the Dutch authorities removed the cocaine, DDL said that the shipment was released back into its control. This, the company said, is due to international recognition of the company’s commitment to high standards.

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