​CANU ranks fall sick during cocaine disposal

Cocaine being broken up before disposal at sea (DPI photo)

The Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU), yesterday morning disposed of just over forty-four kilograms of cocaine, however, the unit was forced to abandon its mission due to health emergencies faced by its crew from the drug particles.

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), initially, the unit set out to destroy just over 318 kilograms of cocaine which were seized between November 2013 and January 2017.

Deputy Head of CANU Lesley Ramlall speaking to DPI said that while carrying out the mission, ranks began vomiting and were complaining of upset stomachs and dizziness. This led to the mission being aborted.

Deputy Head, CANU
Lesley Ramlall (DPI photo)

Upon returning to CANU Headquarters, DPI said that the narcotics were re-weighed by ranks of the unit, in the presence of media and representatives from the National Forensic laboratory. “What we found was a total of 44 kilograms 584 grams was disposed, therefore, giving us a difference of 273 kilograms 502 grams of narcotics and that being cocaine returning to the stores here headquarters at CANU”, Ramlall explained.

The remainder, Ramlall assured, will be disposed of at a later date. However, before execution, a decision will have to be made by his superiors on the way forward.

It was noted that CANU last disposed of narcotics in 2013, however, its last disposal by sea was in 1999. Ramlall stated that “before that, we burnt and maybe we would have to revert to that; the burning of the cocaine but as I

A sample of the narcotics being tested by a scientist from the Forensic Laboratory to ensure that it is cocaine (DPI photo)

said, no decision has been made at this time, that will be communicated to me by my superiors.”