‘Desperate need’ for more support as authorities increase drug hauls
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn says local authorities have recorded greater successes in seizing more illegal drugs over the past year but there is a need for increased support.
The trafficking and use of these drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, are “destructive” in communities, Benn told reporters on Saturday as the Customs Anti- Narcotic Unit (CANU) destroyed over 3,000 pounds of marijuana, valued at about $523 million.
In addition to the trafficking of narcotics, arms trafficking, trafficking of people and money laundering are associated issues, Benn said.
As such, he posited that it is vital for increased efforts at curtailing the distribution of the narcotics. And already, successes have been recorded.
“The frequency of seizures has increased dramatically over the past year and we’ve had outstanding successes in not only seizing large quantities of narcotics but the vehicles, boats and aeroplanes too in the relation to this nefarious activity,” Benn declared.
He explained that Guyana is not the principal consumer of large quantities of the narcotics but acknowledged that it is a transit point for drugs to be shipped to other destinations.
Top export destinations, according to the Minister, include North America and Europe. And he posited that Guyana should get greater support from these countries.
“I think we have a desperate need there and I think if we get more support in terms of assets, we’ll do a much, much greater job with respect to interdicting the flow of narcotics,” the Home Affairs Minister explained.
So far, he acknowledged that some countries have offered “moderate support” but said that the local authorities expect much more assistance, given the successes that have been recorded.
Meanwhile, CANU Head James Singh told reporters that 90 per cent of the entity’s operations are done through multi-agency collaboration. Support from the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Singh said, has been instrumental in nabbing more traffickers.