Trafficking a major threat to Caribbean governance and security – US Ambassador



By Leroy Smith

DEA[] – United States Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt said that transnational trafficking has emerged and remains a major threat to governance and security throughout the Caribbean.

He said that this is due to the flow of drugs, arms and people which generate large profits for criminal networks and which in turn distort and undermine the rule of law making it very hard for countries to reach their national and economic goals.

The Ambassador was at the time speaking at the graduation ceremony of 21 law enforcement officers from Guyana who took part of a week-long course conducted by a United States trainer from DEA.

The ranks who were drawn from the Guyana Police Force and Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit graduated from a Drugs Enforcement Administration, Airport Interdiction Training Program which is conducted throughout the world annually by the United States.

The course is designed to enhance detectability in stopping drug traffickers who utilize transhipment points like the airports to move drugs and money.

Ambassador Hardt reminded that illegal activities and illicit trafficking destabilizes economic progress and threatens public safety. The Ambassador added that such criminal activities also make it more likely that vulnerable populations may be lured into organized criminal networks.

After working with several forces and groups around the world, the trainer, George Woessner said that working with the Guyana team was very exceptional and should be commended on the job they have done.

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, in his address stated that the it was only a short period ago that another training was concluded for law enforcement officers to make them more effective in detecting and identifying persons who are intent on conducting illegal activities at the airports.

The Minister said that the course is testimony of the necessity for on-going training for law enforcement officers who must develop a high degree of specialization coupled with their normal duties in the conduct of their lawful responsibilities.

Rohee said that the trainings are necessary since organized crimes and criminals are also engaged in specialized training and that also sees the combining of resources of various groups to enable themselves to execute their illegal activities to outsmart or out do law enforcement.

“It is because of those steps being taken by the criminals that it becomes important for law enforcement in Guyana and around the world to be up to speed and be competent as their counterparts in other parts of the world to be able to train, identify, interdict and arrest persons who are incline to engage in illegal activities particularly at ports of entries.”

According to Rohee, it should not just be a question of applying what has been thought in terms of building capacity with the organizations represented at the training but rather a broader question of national security.




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