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

- Gouveia

Ground handling operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri

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.”

Comments  

T&T rejects coconut water shipment from Guyana

The refusal by the Trinidad and Tobago food safety authorities to allow a shipment of coconut water from Guyana to be sold there on the grounds that it does not meet the requisite safety standard could engage the two CARICOM countries at government-to-government level even as the Government Analyst & Food & Drug Department (GAFDD) insists that tests carried out on the product here have given the coconut water a clean bill of Health.

Small Business Bureau CEO says project’s original jobs target overly ambitious

Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) Dr. Lowell Porter is backing the potential of the agency to give a significant boost to the growth of a vibrant small business culture in Guyana, its challenges and limitations, up to this time notwithstanding.

`Some people seem to want scrap metal trade to go away’ – Association Secretary

As the local scrap metal industry awaits the ‘green light’ from government to resume the trade, Secretary of the Metal Dealers Association, Michael Benjamin  has told Stabroek Business in an exclusive interview that the feeling had surfaced in sections of the industry that there were people who simply wanted the business to go away.

Managing sugar’s remaining socio-political challenges

  Some measure of practical relief would have been brought to the laid off sugar workers, victims of the meltdown of the once all-powerful sugar industry though it is clear that the travails of both the government and the hapless former GuySuCo employees and their families are far from at an end.

Small businesses to fully tap 20% gov’t `goods and services’ contracts by end of 1st quarter

The provision of the Small Business Act of 2004 allowing for the allocation of 20% of government contracts to small businesses will be fully implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2017 though a pilot initiative designed to test the initiative will be rolled out by month end, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Dr.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×