$1.1B in illegal drugs seized by CANU in 2022
By the end of 2022, the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) seized $1.1 billion worth of illegal drugs, which represents a 68.26 per cent increase from the previous year.
In its year-end report, CANU said it seized an aggregate 3, 403.68 kg of narcotics when compared to 2, 022.8 kg seized in 2021.
A breakdown of the report shows that an overall 3, 280.25 kg of marijuana were seized for the year and 1, 977 kg seized in the previous year.
As it relates to cocaine, 121.31 kg were seized for the year when compared to 41.093 kg in 2021.
A total of 818.7 kg of ecstasy were confiscated in 2022 and only 3.127 kg were seized the year before.
CANU revealed that 302.6 grammes of methamphetamine were taken off the streets, a major increase from the 154 grammes seized in 2021.
Other drugs seized for the year include crystal meth (35.3 grammes), cannabis seed (1kg) and hashish (3.5 grammes).
The street value of the drugs seized in 2021 is worth $634 million, but with the public’s renewed confidence in the unit, where people tip off the security agency, a whopping $1.1 billion worth of illicit drugs was confiscated.
In a regional breakdown, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) accounts for the majority of the drugs seized with 62 per cent. This is followed by Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) with 23 per cent, Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Essequibo) with seven per cent, Region Three (Essequibo Islands–West Demerara) with six per cent and Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) with two per cent.
In Region Four, 104.49 kg of cocaine; 410.12 kg of marijuana; 302.6 grammes of meth; 366 grammes of ecstasy and 1 kg of cannabis seeds were confiscated for the year.
A total of 50 grammes of cocaine, 2, 845.52 kg of marijuana and 452.7 grammes of ecstasy were seized in Region Six.
In Region Three, 16.74 kg cocaine were seized along with 118 grammes of marijuana. Twenty-two grammes of cocaine and 4.81 kg of ganja were taken off the streets in Region Nine while 19.67 kg worth of ganja were seized in Region Ten.
Additionally, CANU was able to seize and hand over 21 illegal firearms to the Guyana Police Force along with 1, 708 rounds of ammunition.
A total of 12 pistols, 8 shotguns and one crossbow were confiscated.
CANU is also recording an increase in convictions for 2022. In 2021, 75 cases were made with 24 convictions while in 2022 saw an increase of 115 cases were made and 42 convictions.
Twenty-nine cases were cocaine-related, 80 cases were cannabis-related, there were 4 ecstasy-related cases and 2 meth cases.
Other achievements include the discovery and destruction of several illegal airstrips, and information sharing on maritime and air transshipment routes with domestic, regional and international agencies.
The formation of several units such as Metal Monitoring, Joint Maritime Control and Container Scanning all resulted in successful operations.
CANU was also actively involved in investigating other criminal activities including terrorism, arms trafficking, and human and wildlife trafficking.