Six Guyanese on drug charges in Suriname

-after river interception

Eight persons, including six Guyanese nationals, are currently in a Surinamese jail on drug-related charges after they were intercepted with drugs by members of a joint army and police patrol while crossing the Corentyne River on Wednesday.

The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) quoted Suriname police spokesman Humphrey Naarden as saying that the patrol spotted a speed boat crossing the Corentyne River from Guyana. Its eight occupants, including three women, he said, had been acting suspiciously and after a search was carried out 14 parcels containing the drugs were found. They have all been remanded to prison. No names were released.

A Surinamese official told Stabroek News via telephone yesterday that the group will remain in prison up to thirty days before a court appearance to determine whether they will remain incarcerated. The official said that because of recent cases of drugs arriving into Suriname via the illegal but widely used border crossings, the River is being frequently patrolled. According to the official, on spotting the joint services officers, the boat picked up speed and this immediately caught the attention of the ranks. The official explained that besides the Guyanese, there was a Jamaican and a Surinamer on board. The official added that from all indications, all eight had knowledge of the drugs, hence their detention and the subsequent laying of charges.

Stabroek News was told that the arrival of drugs into Suriname has been a cause of concern of recent and authorities have been doing all they can to tackle the problem. This was the first time the drugs were intercepted before it reached land. The official said that the drugs are usually seized by police along the roadway linking Paramaribo and Nickerie. He said that police have been closing down roads and this had helped to lessen the flow of the drugs.

According to the official, because of the evasive actions, drug dealers are finding it hard to transport the illegal substance. It was noted that Guyana is a transhipment point between Colombian and Suriname, since it is easier to get to drugs into Suriname from Guyana because of the numerous points of entry.

This newspaper was told that about a week ago 30 kilogrammes of cocaine, which “clearly came from Guyana,” were intercepted. Four persons were held and later charged, including a Guyanese national.

The official indicated that police in Suriname have often been recorded as saying that Guyana is a major drug transhipment point and drugs traffickers transport the drugs to that country from Guyana. He explained that when the drugs leave Guyana it is transported to Nickerie and that is taken by car to Paramaribo.

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