Atherly says ‘Operation Pale Horse’ delivering success in war on drugs

Michael Atherly

Months into ‘Operation Pale Horse,’ which was launched by the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) last year, achievements have been recorded, Director Major General (Ret’d) Michael Atherly says.

The operation, which was launched during the latter half of 2018 “to counter the scourge of illegal narcotics,” will continue into 2019, Atherly told Stabroek News in a recent interview.

Touching on the achievements of the operation to date, Atherly said that they have seen improved coordination and cooperation among the various security agencies operating at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.

He also cited enhanced data collection, sharing of information and intelligence in assessing threats and risks at the air and maritime ports, along with reduced drug trafficking operations in the Pomeroon River mouth and environs as being among the operation’s achievements.

He further stated that ‘Operation Pale Horse’ has seen eradication exercises targeting marijuana cultivations and the seizure of dried cannabis and the joint destruction of cocaine and cannabis, valued in excess of half a billion Guyana dollars.

Atherly explained that the operation falls under the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016-2020, which is currently being implemented.

“The plan proposes a holistic, balanced and multidisciplinary approach among all stakeholder agencies to counter the narcotics problem,” he said, while noting that all drug enforcement agencies are working together.

“An inter-agency task organisation made up of the Guyana Police Force Narcotics Branch, the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit, the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Guyana Revenue Authority and appropriate sections of the Guyana Defence Force are all participating in the Operation,” he added.

He noted that NANA is the coordination arm of the operation and is exercising its umbrella responsibilities for “synchronising counter narcotics matters at the national level.”

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