Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan has called on the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) to secure more convictions.
Ramjattan also said that too often persons who are caught red-handed with narcotics walk free due to the lack of adequate evidence presented in court, the Department of Public Information (DPI) said.
The Minister made the remarks at the opening of a capacity building Narcotics Training Workshop yesterday at the Racquet Centre.
Ramjattan told the officers that their “record must be improved as it regards convictions … More or less is the epitome, the very top. When you get a conviction as a unit, that is but the pride, that is but the big success that you would all want, and so we have to do better in relation to convictions.”
The inability to secure convictions, the Minister said, is not a reflection of innocence. He posited that the court has a high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt or “beyond the shadow of a doubt” and requires every piece of evidence in order for that person to be convicted.
Ramjattan encouraged the ranks to use the workshop as a stepping stone and not to be discouraged, describing narcotics smuggling as injurious to the democracy and economy. He characterised the act as an “extremely evil thing” adding that while it has garnered billions of dollars for a small number of people, at the same time it has destroyed the lives of many families.
The officers were urged to be professional and not to fall prey to the lucrative lifestyle the smuggling of narcotics may project.
“Though you may be unit officers, the money that goes with it, you would want to say well why not give it a try, one blink and that is it. I can be successful, no you must not. It is an extraordinarily dangerous
undertaking, to the extent that even if you are successful, in that little fling, you are going to destroy the lives of so many people” the Minister stated.