By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Over 120 kilos of cocaine were found stashed in a container onboard a foreign vessel – MV Deltadiep – that was travelling through the Demerara River to Europe, head of the Customs Anti – Narcotics Unit (CANU) James Singh has confirmed.
Singh provided the update shortly after the container was opened and the drugs were quantified, cautioning that 120 kilos was not the final count.
CANU ranks acting with support from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Container Control Program which includes police ranks, intercepted the vessel last evening after information was received from a regional counterpart (Suriname).
“Acting on information received, CANU provided assistance… a check of the vessel showed that the container had contraband inside,” Singh said. The vessel last docked in neighboring Suriname and arrived in Guyana at the weekend. Its next stops were Spain, Holland and then Belgium.
The container was taken off the vessel and transported to the city, Georgetown over the course of the night and was this morning (January 06) opened, where the drugs were quantified.The crew of some eight or nine persons has been arrested and is in police custody.
Their nationalities are not known. Singh refused to provide any further details and directed Reporters to seek further information from the Director General of the GRA, Khurshid Sattuar.
Efforts to reach Sattuar were not immediately successful. The vessel had come to Guyana to collect a shipment of bauxite from Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc.
The bauxite had already been load onto the vessel when the cocaine was found stashed under the wooden base of the container.
Sources complained to iNews that the ship did not receive 24 hours surveillance when it docked in Linden, Region 10 and the crew was allowed to leave the ship, which was said to be unusual.