Baggage handlers held after 50lbs cocaine found at airport
A bag containing 50 pounds of cocaine was on Thursday night intercepted by law enforcement agencies at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri and several airport baggage handlers are being interrogated over the find.
According to the police, around 11:20 pm, police ranks searched an unclaimed bag without a nametag that was seen in the loading area at the CJIA and found a total of 25 kilogrammes (50 pounds) of suspected cocaine inside.
The drugs were wrapped in plastic in more than 20 parcels and packaged in the bag and carry a street value of approximately G$25M.
This newspaper was told that the baggage handlers working on the airside of the airport are the prime suspects in this recent drug bust and several persons were being questioned yesterday by the police and agents of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) in relation to the drug find.
A source told this newspaper that while it remains unclear how the drugs arrived at the loading area, anti-narcotic agents are working to determine whether the airport perimeter fence as well as ground handling services, among other avenues, were used by the drug traffickers to breach the security apparatus there.
He said that security officials at Timehri received a tip that persons working on the airside of the airport were attempting to place a bag on a baggage cart.
He said that the middlemen working on the airside may have panicked and the illegal goods were abandoned.
Stabroek News was told that the drug traffickers may have been targeting a Caribbean Airlines flight which was expected to depart for the JFK airport in New York sometime after midnight on Thursday.
The police said that no arrest has yet been made as the investigations continue.
In March this year, two duffle bags containing 10 kilos of cocaine were found on the airside of the CJIA near the perimeter fence.
An engineer attached to a local airline stumbled upon the two bags while working in the area.
No one was charged in connection with that incident.
Over the years an increasing number of persons have been placed before the courts here and abroad in connection with the shipping of drugs through the CJIA.
At the same time drug busts made overseas have not resulted in arrests here.