J’cans us­ing for­eign­ers to smug­gle drugs

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Corey Robin­son Staff Re­porter corey.robin­son@glean­erjm.com

MORE AND more for­eign cit­i­zens, some un­know­ingly, are be­ing lured into the transna­tional drug net­works in Ja­maica, and the Nar­cotics Di­vi­sion in­tends to put a se­ri­ous dent into this wor­ry­ing trend.

Head of the Nar­cotics Di­vi­sion, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent McArthur Suther­land, last week ex­pressed con­cern about the na­ture of some of the drug busts his of­fice has made since the start of the year.

“Quite a num­ber of them (for­eign na­tion­als) are of­fered va­ca­tion here with a par­tic­u­lar mo­tive. Some of them are sent on va­ca­tion, and then they (crim­i­nals) give them gifts to take back up, and the gifts turn out to be co­caine,” Suther­land told The Sun­day Gleaner.

“Some of them don’t know what they are get­ting into, while some are part of the plan. Most of the cases with these for­eign na­tion­als are with co­caine, while, with the lo­cals, they will take the ganja to Bar­ba­dos, An­tigua, the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic – they tar­get mostly the Caribbean is­lands with the ganja.”

Suther­land ex­plained that in some cases, the crim­i­nals, many of whom are Ja­maicans liv­ing abroad, pur­chase travel tick­ets and pay for ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tions and other ex­penses for the smug­glers.

“The syn­di­cates have their net­works. Some of these guys would have even lived abroad be­fore. In one in­stance, one of the per­sons was a Bri­tish na­tional and he was found with con­tra­band for ex­port. He was link­ing up with a Ja­maican and both of them were link­ing up with a de­por­tee who was also from Eng­land,” ex­plained Suther­land, al­lud­ing to the in­tri­cacy of some of the op­er­a­tions.

“Most times, these are de­por­tees who would have estab­lished them­selves abroad al­ready, build­ing their net­work, and have re­turned to Ja­maica where they have other crim­i­nal con­nec­tions.”

NAR­COTICS STA­TIS­TICS

Since the start of the year, 832 drug of­fend­ers have been col­lared in Nar­cotics Di­vi­sion-led op­er­a­tions.

Of that num­ber, 51 were for­eign na­tion­als – 15 were Bri­tish, 12 Cana­di­ans, eight Costa Ri­cans, five Amer­i­cans, three Vin­cen­tians, three Ba­hami­ans, one each from Trinidad, An­tigua, Guyana, Haiti and France; and 781 were Ja­maicans.

Ten for­eign na­tion­als were ar­rested in the month of Au­gust, while 116 Ja­maicans were ar­rested in Septem­ber.

Over­all, the Nar­cotics Di­vi­sion has seized some 1,005 kilo­grams of co­caine, 26,000 kilo­grams of mar­i­juana and about 4,500 kilo­grams of hashish.

Mean­while, the Nor­man Man­ley In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Kingston was the scene for most of the ar­rests at the con­trolled ports with 106, while the Sang­ster In­ter­na­tional Air­port in St James saw 31, and the sea­ports ac­counted for five.

Over­all, the Nar­cotics Di­vi­sion has seized some 1,005 kilo­grams of co­caine, 26,000 kilo­grams of mar­i­juana and about 4,500 kilo­grams of hashish.

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