Closer cooperation to follow
Anti-narcotics officials yesterday met with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and have been able to glean some information which will help in the further dismantling of a ring that smuggled 376 kilos of cocaine in pepper sauce cartons.
Sources say that the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) will be tracking down leads here and there will be closer collaboration between the two sides.
The sources say that the key success out of the meeting is that on a “professional basis we have re-established the relationship with the RCMP” and this is likely to lead to greater access to information and cooperation with regional RCMP offices.
Training and technical assistance for CANU could be on the cards following the visit as there is a hope that the local agency will be able to undertake the full gamut of tasks. In addition to drug trafficking, it also possible that agencies like CANU could help the Canadians in cracking the roaring backtrack business.
Sources say that the RCMP was interested in working out the exact roles of some the players who had been reeled in here by law enforcement authorities after the pepper sauce busts were made.
The RCMP was furnished with information on local arrests which enabled it to unearth more leads in Canada.
Thus far, CANU has questioned the key players in the organization that smuggled 376 kilos of cocaine in the pepper sauce cartons. One shipment was busted on December 8 in New Brunswick, Canada and the other was nabbed on December 24 in St Croix, the US Virgin Islands after Canadian authorities tipped off the US DEA.
Two people that CANU had sought in this matter, Reginald Rodrigues and Orlando Watson, are believed to have fled the country by the backtrack. Rodrigues was thought to have made it to Suriname but authorities now believe he is in Venezuela and local authorities have exchanged the relevant information with their counterparts in Caracas. Watson is believed to be in Suriname.
Another person of interest, Inderpaul Doodnauth has been in contact with CANU. His brother, Mahendrapal was arrested in Canada in relation to the New Brunswick shipment and charged. During the RCMP visit, it was made clear that a case was being built against Mahendrapaul. He was charged with importing cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Two others who co-run a store in Georgetown have also been in contact with CANU. One of the two was also being questioned in relation to a shipment of timber with cocaine seized in the Caribbean last year.
The other, a deportee, is believed to have sourced the cocaine that was stuffed into the dividers of the cartons.
While no charges have yet been laid and none of the drug shipments was intercepted here, CANU is confident that it has upturned the major drug supply network headquartered on the East Coast.