Jamaica Customs Head sees increased ganja trafficking to Guyana

(Jamaica Gleaner) Commissioner of Customs Major (retd) Richard Reese has expressed satisfaction with the combined efforts of the various law-enforcement agencies in patrolling the nation’s ports.

Reese lauded the Jamaica Customs’ Contraband Enforcement Team (CET), Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division (TCND), Coast Guard and Marine Police for what he called “a team approach.”

“We have weekly narcotics seizures at the airport (Norman Manley International Airport) and parcels post, and there are a number of passengers being held with commercial quantities of electronic devices,” Reese said.

Richard Reese
Richard Reese

His statements come in the wake of the seizure of nearly 400 kilogrammes of marijuana, valued at over JA$4 million on Friday. Members of the CET and the TCND carried out a joint operation at the Kingston Container Terminal.

At approximately 12:47 p.m., 11 travel bags emitting the odour of marijuana were found in one container with another 14 packages discovered in a separate one.

Both containers were processed by Jamaica Constabulary’s Scene of Crime Unit. The first contained 121 packages, weighing 358. 05 kg.

The packages in the second container weighed 32.7 kg. The contraband was taken to TCND headquarters, Spanish Town Road, where they were handed over for further investigation.

For June, Jamaica customs is reporting seven narcotics seizures at the Port of Kingston, three involving cocaine and the others marijuana.

Upsurge in marijuana

The shipment was destined for Suriname and reports are there is an upsurge in marijuana shipments going to that country as well as Guyana and Costa Rica.

The Eastern Caribbean, particularly, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia, are popular destinations for marijuana. Regarding the upsurge in other territories, suspicion is the herb is an exchange for cocaine coming to Jamaica, something Reese could not confirm.

“I can’t say definitively that the trade is an exchange for cocaine,” he said. “It is possible that it is cheaper and easier to tranship via Suriname and Guyana, in both directions, than traditional routes.”

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