New drug strategy master plan being crafted – Rohee
A new drug strategy master plan is being crafted by the government says Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee who also warned counter narcotics officers to be on the look out for other types of illegal drugs entering the country.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a counter narcotics investigation training course this morning at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.
The announcement about a drug strategy master plan is likely to attract adverse comment. PPP/C governments have played up drug master plans since 1992 but critics such as current Opposition Leader David Granger have derided them for not accomplishing anything and being underfunded and under resourced. Other critics have also said that the purported drug master plans have had no impact on the reign of drug lords such as Roger Khan who carried out operations unimpeded and was alleged to have aided the government in its crime fighting. It was the US which apprehended Khan in Trinidad. He is now in jail in the US.
Rohee at today’s course said that the Government has been investing significant sums of money to fight drugs and welcomed the additional specialized training being offered to the staff of CANU and the Police Narcotics Branch.
Rohee said that the Government is also conscious that if Law Enforcement Agencies are to be successful in apprehending drug smugglers, “there is also the need for our Legislative Framework to be updated. Constant action is being taken in this regard.
“Our country is currently working assiduously to draft a new Drug Strategy Master Plan that would be used to guide our current and future Anti-Narcotics activities.”
Noting that the drugs seized here are mostly cocaine and marijuana, Rohee said that the possibility of synthetic drugs and heroin being found in larger quantities cannot be discounted.
“As a consequence, I call upon our Law Enforcement Agencies to be on the alert for other types of illegal drugs arriving on our shores and to be prepared to take preventative action to restrict their entry into the country.
“With our expanding import and export trade, more emphasis has to be placed on the movement of shipping containers to prevent their use for illegal purposes”, Rohee said.
Welcoming the recent container control programme launched here by the UN and the World Customs Organization with financial help from the US, Rohee said that the success of this programme will “depend to some extent on the reinforcement of the concept of Inter-Agency Cooperation and the dedication of the persons who will be trained to operationalize it.”
Rohee made a point of thanking the US government for its help in the drug fight. Georgetown and Washington had a frosty relationship over the drug fight during the Jagdeo administration.