The Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) says it found no evidence to suggest that the cocaine discovered in a rice shipment in Germany came from Guyana.
It was announced earlier this month that authorities in Hamburg found 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in a rice shipment from Guyana.
But CANU said based on its investigations, the drugs might have been placed into the containers whilst they were in-transit in another country.
In fact, CANU said newspapers from that country were some of the materials used to wrap the illegal substance.
Already, the Guyana Rice Development Board said all protocols were followed in packing the rice for shipment.
See full statement from CANU:
CANU PRESS RELEASE
Matter/Story: Seizure of 1.5 Tons of Suspected Cocaine found in Container with Rice intercepted in Germany Police.
Date of Interdiction: on Monday 2020-08-10.
Place of Interdiction: at Hamburg Port (Germany)
Notable Observations from Investigation thus far:
1. The suspected narcotic was found in one twenty feet (20 ft) container containing several bags of white rice shipped from Guyana.
2. The said contaminated container was (1) one out of a shipment of a total of (12) twelve 20 ft containers. That entire shipment of the 12 containers comprised 6000 bags of white rice intended for export to a company in Poland.
3. The vessel intended to transport the said 12 containers was loaded and sailed from Guyana between the 25th and 26th May 2020.
4. It was confirmed that all 12 of the said containers were scanned locally by GRA operatives and no narcotic was detected nor were their seals appeared to have been tampered with.
5. It is key to note that the said vessel which departed Guyana arrived on June 7th, 2020 in another territory where the said 12 containers were reportedly off loaded in that territory and remained in –transit for a total of 6 days after which those 12 containers which included the one later found to be contaminated were then re-loaded onto another vessel different from the vessel that initially transported those 12 containers from Guyana.
6. That said second vessel with the 12 containers and its other cargo then arrived in Hamburg, Germany on June 27th, 2020 and discharged the said 12 containers the following day, June 28th, 2020.
7. The said 12 containers remained at their boarded location in Germany for several days after which they were then searched and the suspected narcotic were intercepted on Monday 10th August 2020.
8. Importantly, newspaper clippings out of the territory in which the said 12 containers remained in-transit in were found to have been used to wrap some of the bundles of suspected narcotic intercepted in Germany.
9. CANU has conducted an extensive investigation into the handling, shipping and export of this shipment of white rice and has not yet found conclusive evidence that suggests that the suspected narcotic was loaded onto the contaminated container in Guyana.
10. Nevertheless, there were unearthed loopholes and irregularities regarding the local handling of the shipment which has resulted in a collaborative investigation by CANU and GRA seeking to amend same.
11. CANU’s investigation continues.