[www.inewsguyana.com] – Head of the Customs Anti –Narcotics Unit (CANU),James Singh says he is 100% sure the Self Propelled Semi – Submersible which was found in the Waini River last month was built in Guyana.
He could not say whether it was built by Guyanese, but stated that the materials used to construct the suspected drug transporting vessel were all imported. To this end, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee deemed the construction of the vessel “an international crime” as he urged his country men and women to use their talent to better Guyana.
“If this vessel was built by Guyanese it shows they have a lot of capacity and they should use it to better the country and not against the country and its sovereignty,” Rohee said.
During a tour of the vessel this morning, which is being stored at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard Base at Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Singh informed that the vessel was built to transport drugs from Guyana across the Atlantic to Europe or Africa.
He said CANU continues work with its international counterparts including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Colombians. He said CANU is now looking to identify the particular group that may have built and intended to use the vessel.
According to the CANU Head, it was a major development; pointing out that this was the first time such a vessel was found in the Atlantic region as he also disclosed that some seven persons have so far been questioned in relation to the discovery.
“It’s not only the discovery of a narco sub, it’s the discovery of a narco sub in Guyana that is capable of crossing the Atlantic to go to Europe or Africa,” he lamented.
In relation to the vessel’s capacity, Singh said it could carry between four to five persons; has a length of 63 feet, at its widest is 12 feet and a height 8 feet
He says his Officers have reasons to believe the vessel was there for at least five months and could carry four to six tons of cocaine
The CANU Head also pointed out that the vessel was fitted with a brand new engine; adding that it top speed empty is 10 to 12 knots and fully laden the average speed is six to eight knots.
Meanwhile, Rohee said he was pleased with the discovery and congratulated CANU and GDF Special Forces in this regard.
“It goes to show the struggle and fight against narcotics is an ongoing one… Who knows what else exists elsewhere in our national territories, no one knows and that is why we have to be constantly be on the alert,” Rohee added.
He praised the cooperation of the DEA which he says has given many of its facilities and personnel to local law enforcement agencies to intercept vessels like this.
The Home Affairs Minister pointed out that Guyana’s major challenge is that it remains a transit point for drugs as he noted the need to beef up law enforcement agencies.
“I Believe this discovery will send a strong signal to those involved in such activity, inside or outside of Guyana, that law enforcement is alert and active across country.”