Perception of airport as ‘soft target’ for drug smuggling a threat to private sector

- Gouveia

Unless government and the private sector work together to ensure that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri, ceases to be regarded as an exit port through which illegal drugs can easily be smuggled, the private sector could be denied important international markets, Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways Inc Captain Gerry Gouveia told Stabroek Business earlier this week.

Just prior to the interview, Gouveia, delivering a New Year address to staff at his company, had said that it was in the interest of the private sector, particularly the aviation services sub-sector “to work both internally and in collaboration with the authorities to rid our airport of the image of a soft target for drug traffickers. By using various items of food… to move illegal drugs out of Guyana, drug traffickers are, in effect, targeting the private sector,” Gouveia added.

Ground handling operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri
Ground handling operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri

In December last year, the findings of a Commission of Enquiry, set up by Roraima to probe an incident in which a member of its ground handling staff at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri was implicated in an alleged attempt to smuggle illegal drugs out of Guyana included a number of recommendations relating to airport security. “We know only too well that occurrences such as the incident that took place at the CJIA on September 13 last can do irreparable harm to companies like ours,” Gouveia said in his New Year message.

The Roraima Airways CEO told Stabroek Business that a point had been reached where private sector entities  operating at the CJIA had to become more assertive in ensuring that “our image and our interests are better protected. After all, every time an irregularity or an illegality is uncovered at the airport, a light is shone on the services; not necessarily a positive light, but a light that can sometimes be negative.”

Gouveia said that contrary to what is sometimes believed the discovery of illegal drugs being prepared for export “gets the attention of the international community” so that “if, for example, you are providing services for an international airline that airline, upon getting that kind of news, may begin to ask itself questions as to whether its continued business collaboration with the particular service provider is the best thing for the image of the company. Those of us in the sector understand only too well that we may no further than the next incident away from losing an important contract.”

Latest in Business

Guyana Metal Recyclers Association President Michael Benjamin

Metal exporters want urgent presidential intervention

– business ministry working on new procedures Piqued over what it says has been the suspension—without either notice or official notification—of the scrap metal trade by the APNU+AFC administration since June last year, the Guyana Metal Recyclers Association (GMRA) the official umbrella body for local exporters has told the Stabroek Business that the protracted inability of businesses to ply their trade is wreaking havoc with the industry and denying legitimate businessmen the right to earn a living.

The Far Rockaway Hotel

Kwakwani $$$M hotel investment seeks to breathe new life into community

Gavin August may well be unique in the extent of his financial investment in Kwakwani: an estimated $50 million to create a 12-room hotel, which he hopes will pay him back down the road, when the fortunes of the community change.

default placeholder

Does crowdfunding have the power to grow Caribbean economies? (Part 2)

By A Cecile Watson   A Cecile Watson is the founder of pitchandchoose.com. She is a former senior regional banker, an international speaker, a certified financial education instructor and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Ambassador Regional Leader for the Caribbean.

20160624gold prices June24

Kitco Market

Gold Prices for the three day period ending Thursday  June 23, 2016Kitco is a Canadian company that buys and sells precious metals such as gold, copper and silver.

IDB Chief Economist Jose Juan Ruiz

Caribbean facing savings crisis – IDB

A new study released earlier this month by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has put countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on notice that they are confronted with a savings crisis that might do damage to their economies in the years ahead.

20160624pricesjune24

Prices Prepared by the Guyana Marketing Corporation

(Prepared by the Guyana Marketing Corporation and published by Stabroek Business as a public service)*Prices only represent the average Wholesale Farmgate and Retail Prices at the above mentioned markets and are NOT prices set by the Guyana Marketing Corporation or Ministry of Agriculture.

Aunty Picky

Placing a premium on education: Annandale businesses support growth of secondary school

As the story goes, the name Annandale is said to honour the two daughters of the proprietor of the tract of land to which the name was given.

Talks underway: The respective delegations from the Guyana Public Service Union and the Government of Guyana face each other on Wednesday at the start of what could be the country’s most important industrial relations encounter since the Armstrong Arbitration Commission.

GPSU, gov’t pay hike talks opening ‘a transformational moment’ – Yarde

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is treating the current public service wages and salaries negotiations with the Government of Guyana as “the start of a process aimed at bettering the lot of public servants in a manner that goes way beyond the monetary benefits which we expect will derive from the process,” its President Patrick Yarde has said.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: