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“Counter narcotics efforts are undermined by inadequate resources for law enforcement, poor coordination among law enforcement agencies, an inefficient judiciary, and a colonial-era legal system badly in need of modernization”More than two years after launching its National Drug Strategy Master Plan (NDSMP) for 2005-2009, Guyana has not effectively implemented it, and remains a transit point for cocaine destined for North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.This is according to International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2008 released by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The report notes that seizures in Guyana for 2007 were three times higher than for the previous year.The increased seizure was, however, attributed to the improved counter narcotics measures at the working level and the quantities not being sufficient to impact the U.S. market.To its credit, the Guyana Government was lauded for laying the groundwork for an enhanced security sector by agreeing to a reform programme sponsored by the British Government. It also arrested Terrence Sugrim, an accused drug trafficker wanted by the U.S., and initiated the extradition process. Sugrim, called Segrim, was subsequently released on bail.The report noted that there are no reliable estimates regarding the amounts of cocaine or cannabis that transit Guyana, but US law enforcement authorities contend that Guyanese narcotics traffickers regularly move shipments of cocaine through the country. Drugs flow easily through Guyana’s uncontrolled borders and coastline.Light aircraft land at numerous isolated airstrips, or make airdrops where operatives on the ground retrieve the drugs. Smugglers use small boats and freighters to enter Guyana’s many remote but navigable rivers.Within the last four years two illegal airstrips have been discovered and destroyed by local law enforcement agents, while a small airplane disappeared from the Kayman Sankar airfield, which is rarely used officially.However, residents in the surrounding areas testify to the regular usage of the airport.The report also noted that smugglers also take direct routes, such as driving or boating across the borders with Brazil, Suriname, and Venezuela.Inside the country, narcotics are reportedly transported to Georgetown by road, water or air, and then sent on to the Caribbean,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, North America, or Europe via commercial air carriers or cargo ships.Local authorities on several occasions arrested drug mules attempting to smuggle small amounts of cocaine on virtually every northbound route out of the international airport.One such mule was former Miss Guyana Universe, Mia Rahaman, who was nabbed in Canada with cocaine stored in a variety of cosmetics containers.In 2007, there was a surge in law enforcement seizures of suitcases carrying drugs at the international airport. These had been added to the baggage queue after check-in, and tagged in the names of unsuspecting passengers.There was also a notable upward trend in the use of the Guyana Post Office as an avenue for the trafficking of cocaine in small quantities,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, further demonstrating the malleable tactics of trafficking organizations.To a lesser extent, Guyana was also labelled a trans-shipment point for marijuana.Notable as it relates to Guyana over the weekend, law enforcement ranks destroyed marijuana plants estimated at millions of dollars.“Guyana produces high-grade cannabis, and is not known to produce,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, trade, or transit precursor chemicals on a large scale.”A very high-grade form of cannabis is,Cheap MLB Jerseys, however, cultivated in Guyana, primarily in the intermediate savannahs, and its cultivation is reportedly increasing. In 2007, Guyanese authorities eradicated 15,280 kilogrammes of cannabis.Marijuana is sold and consumed openly in Guyana, despite frequent arrests for possessing small amounts of cannabis.Marijuana use has been observed among children as young as eleven years old.“Guyana’s ability to deal with drug abusers is hampered by the modest financial resources to support rehabilitation programmes…Guyana only has two facilities that treat substance abuse—the Salvation Army and the Phoenix Recovery Centre. There are no programs to deal with substance abuse in the prisons.”According to the report, Guyana’s vast expanse of unpopulated forest and savannahs offers ample cover for drug traffickers and smugglers, and counter narcotics efforts are undermined by inadequate resources for law enforcement, poor coordination among law enforcement agencies, an inefficient judiciary, and a colonial-era legal system badly in need of modernisation.Pic: One of the recent seizures of a quantity of cocaine which was ingeniously hidden in a dart boardIt also noted that murders, kidnappings,Adidas Hockey Jerseys Cheap, and other violent crimes commonly believed to be linked with narcotics trafficking are regularly reported in the local media, with the most recent kidnapping being that of Farouk Kalamadeen, who was found decapitated 28 after his disappearance.His head surfaced two days later in a canal a few metres from his business place.CorruptionAs it relates to corruption, the report indicates that there was no evidence that the Government or senior officials of the Government encourage or facilitate the illicit production, processing, shipment or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, the local media routinely report on instances of corruption reaching to high levels of Government. These are not investigated and thus go unpunished, but no conclusive evidence is available to back up these claims.One such case is that of Shaheed Roger Khan, who is currently fighting a court battle for his freedom in the US, where he is charged for shipping drugs into that country.He,NFL Jerseys Sale, time and time again, publicised his involvement with Government officials.Another example is that of former Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, who was labelled as the driving force behind a notorious ‘Phantom Killing Squad,” for which he had to retire from that designation.Gajraj is currently serving in the post of Guyana’s High Commissioner to India.“Analysts believe drug trafficking organizations in Guyana continue to elude law enforcement agencies through bribes and coercion, but substantiating information is anecdotal at best.”Guyana is party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC), but has yet to fully implement its provisions, such as seizure of property obtained through corruption.This would require the passage of the Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism legislation, which has been languishing in a Parliamentary select committee for one year now.The report lauded Guyana’s effort to tackle the drug problem. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Great Britain to implement a $5 million, multi-year programme for reform of the security sector.The Government has also requested and received $500,000 in U.S. Department of Defence funds to refurbish its only seaworthy Coast Guard vessel, to patrol its 285-mile coastline.The country has also commenced issuance of machine-readable passports, in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards, that is expected to help thwart the use of identity fraud and cross-border criminal activities.
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