‘You better watch out’: Security checks to be heightened at airports for Christmas- CANU

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CANU Head Michael Atherly

With the Christmas season slowly approaching, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) has instituted plans to heighten security checks at both Ogle and the Cheddi Jagan International (CJIA) airports to tackle the amount of drugs entering and departing the country.

According to head of the unit, Michael Atherly, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and CANU is working collectively to clamp down on these operations.

Atherly noted that during the end of year season it is compulsory that these operations take full effect since there is a larger amount of visitor’s this time around.

“We work with the treats- and currently we (CANU) are constantly accessing the treats. If we find that the treat is going to increase over the Christmas period of course we will have to heighten the level of checks that we do at airports”.

However, the CANU head noted that while there are no major indications of treats at the airports, thus far, the number of drug trafficking cases have increased.

As such, he explained that plans are already in place to tackle the issue.

“Even though there is a small amount of drugs coming in, the most serious treat is drugs going out and that’s what we are going to concentrate on” Atherly explained.

Recently, during the GPF annual Christmas presentation held at the Officers’ Mess Hall, Eve Leary, Georgetown, A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara) Commander Marlon Chapman gave assurances that Police patrols and outposts around the city will be boosted in a bid to ensure a secure shopping environment.

Chapman revealed that part of the efforts to ensure increased safety is the splitting of Georgetown into seven sub-sections as compared to six last year.

The areas will be equipped with mobile outposts and frequent patrols will occur, with senior members of the GPF in charge of each sub-sector.

Chapman added that the commercial shopping zones would be covered in the heightened security plan so that citizens could shop in comfort.

According to the 2016 Guyana Drug Information report, marijuana is identified as the main drug that is trafficked and abused.

Also, the report reveals that compared to 2015 there was a 77.1 per cent decrease in the quantity of drugs seized by law enforcement agencies for the year 2016 and that the main type of drug seized was cannabis plants, which amounted to 96 per cent of all seizures.

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