421 per­sons charged with nar­cotic of­fences in 2017- Po­lice

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

As

law en­force­ment of­fi­cers ramp up the fight against the narco-trade, re­cent Po­lice sta­tis­tics have re­vealed that 421 per­sons were charged with traf­fick­ing in nar­cotics of­fences.

These num­bers, f or the pe­riod Jan­uary- Oc­to­ber 2017, were re­vealed by act­ing Crime Chief Paul Wil­liams. Of the 421, 310 per­sons were charged with mar­i­juana of­fences while 111 in­di­vid­u­als were charged for co­caine-re­lated of­fences.

The sta­tis­tics showed that the 310 mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion cases re­flected a de­crease of 171 cases as the cor­re­spond­ing fig­ure dur­ing the same pe­riod in 2016 was 481. In 2015, 503 per­sons were charged; in 2014, 454 and in 2013, 593.

For co­caine cases, there was an in­crease of 44 per cent, as the 111 cases filed this year re­flected a spike up from 49 cases up to Oc­to­ber last year. In 2015, there were 132; in 2014, 111 and in 2013, 141 cases.

The act­ing Crime Chief in his anal­y­sis sug­gested that suc­cess in crack­ing down on the nar­cotics trade was owed to in­creased col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween the Po­lice Force and the Cus­toms Anti-Nar­cotics Unit (CANU).

“Be­cause of the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the Po­lice and CANU [and] nu­mer­ous train­ing, this would have made the de­tec­tion rate very high. The couri­ers may have run out of style in terms of how they are able to move,” Wil­liams ob­served.

Self-con­fessed drug lord Barry Dataram was con­victed and sen­tenced to spend 60 months (five years) in jail and fined $164,268,000 af­ter he was found guilty, in ab­sen­tia, of pos­ses­sion of co­caine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing in Septem­ber 2016.

On April 16, 2015, at 661 Fourth Av­enue, Block X Di­a­mond, East Bank De­mer­ara, Po­lice found Dataram and oth­ers with 60.840 kilo­grams of co­caine in their pos­ses­sion for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.

The oth­ers, in­clud­ing his re­puted wife, An­janie Bood­nar­ine, were all freed. Dataram is also cur­rently serv­ing time for ad­di­tional crimes, in­clud­ing il­le­gal am­mu­ni­tion pos­ses­sion, pass­port forgery, ab­scond­ing from the law and il­le­gal de- par­ture.

CANU agents in re­cent months have in­creased pa­trols on land and on the coun­try’s wa­ter­ways and ports, in ef­forts to re­duce traf­fick­ing.

Mean­while, many ad­vo­cacy groups are still call­ing for de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of small amounts of mar­i­juana and for Mag­is­trates to im­pose al­ter­na­tive sen­tenc­ing, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice.

It has been ob­served that such mea­sures could as­sist in re­duc­ing the prison pop­u­la­tion.

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