CANU destroys US$2.5M in marijuana; lauds inter-agency cooperation  

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The marijuana being destroyed

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) this morning facilitated the destruction of some 1,500 kilograms of marijuana that was seized at ports and residences by its agents last year.

With the majority of the narcotics destroyed being imported, the estimated street value is US$2.5 million.

No cocaine was destroyed during this morning’s exercise since the cases relating to their discovery are pending in the courts.

This is according to the Head of CANU, James Singh.

He credited the agency’s increased success to enhanced inter-agency collaboration and intelligence gathering with the Joint Services.

According to Singh, “90 per cent of the operations we do are as a result of intelligence-sharing among [CANU and] the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force. It’s part of the whole National Security Strategy ensuring safer communities and a safe country.”

CANU Head James Singh and Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn overseeing the destruction of the narcotics

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn expressed government’s satisfaction with the joint efforts of the law enforcement agencies to curb narcotics trafficking in the country.

“The frequency of seizures has increased dramatically over the past year. We’ve had outstanding successes. We’ve not only been seizing large quantities of narcotics but the vehicles, boats and the aeroplanes, too, in relation to this nefarious activity.”

He went on to point out that Guyana is merely a transit point and not the final destination for the movement of narcotics.

As such, Minister Benn called for greater support from countries to interdict the movement of narcotics.

“We are aware there are destinations in the region to the Caribbean, to the borders in the East – both coming and going – so much of this here is what was intended to be exported… We are not the users and the buyers of narcotics, which are leaving the country for other destinations. So, we continue to look forward to and we are asking for more support, particularly from those countries which are the final destinations of these narcotics.”

The 1,500 kg marijuana seized by CANU last year

“I think we have a desperate need there, and I think if we get more support in terms of assets, we’ll do a much better job with respect to interdicting the flow of narcotics [in Guyana,” he stated.

Already, the Home Affairs Minister noted that discussions have commenced and moderate support has been forthcoming but Benn believes that with more assistance from its international counterparts, Guyana would be able to do more in curbing narco-trafficking.