Cocaine seizures down

Acting Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston

…as police step up efforts to tackle trafficking

ACTING Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston, said a lot of work had been done by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to curb the prevalence of cocaine trafficking, both locally and internationally, in the past five years.

The Senior Superintendent was, at the time, speaking about the GPF’s security plan for the Christmas season, at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary, on Friday.

Adding that the Police Narcotics Branch had recorded a significant decrease in cocaine seizures for the past few years, Kingston said that, in 2015, the police seized 153 kilograms of cocaine but only 10 kilograms were seized for 2019, thus far.

“I know for a fact that persons may wonder why there has been a rapid decline. But, our intelligence shows that the presence of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) here has brought about significant progress in the seizure rate. This has resulted in the vast decrease of cocaine activities,” he said.

He underscored that at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD), in 2015, law enforcement ranks of the GPF seized 145 kilograms of cocaine.

As of October, 31, 2019, he said there have only been 5.143 kilograms seized. “In 2015, there were 155 persons charged for cocaine-related offences, in 2016 there were 81 persons, and in 2017 there were 148 persons and at present we have 70 persons,” the Crime Chief added.

Further, Senior Superintendent Kingston said that, as it relates to eradication exercises, in 2015, 41 acres of ganja were destroyed while in 2018, a total of 24.5 acres were targeted and destroyed and for 2019 thus far, 82 acres of cannabis fields have been found and destroyed.

He added that in 2015 there were 851 kilograms 376 grams of cannabis seized by ranks attached to the GPF and that, in 2019, that figure had been greatly reduced to 551 kilograms 352 grams to date. “With our recent commissioning of the Drug Treatment Court, it is anticipated that this kind of behaviour will decrease as we go along,” he noted. He said in 2015 there were 630 persons charged while for the year under review there were 388 charges.