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DEA to assist Guyana in probing discovery of cocaine-smuggling sub- Pres. Ramotar

Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible (SSPS) vessel that was found in Waini, North West District (CANU photo)

Agents of the United States (US) Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are expected to assist their Guyanese law enforcement counterparts in studying the implications of a homemade Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible (SSPS) vessel that was made in the Guyanese jungle to smuggle tons of cocaine to other parts of the world.

President Donald Ramotar announced the DEA’s involvement at a news conference at which he described the discovery of the vessel as a “big dent” to the criminal enterprise. “What we have done at the moment is that we have secured the place and we are going to move in with our own experts and the DEA people to examine so that we can have a better picture of what has taken place, what is there and have much more information on this matter in the not too distant future,”  he said.

The 65-feet long and 12-feet wide fiberglass SPSS was found in a creek in Waini, North West District by Guyanese soldiers and agents of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) based on intelligence from an ongoing operation.

No one was arrested at the camp where the manufacturers and other persons were staying near the fiberglass boat that was already fitted with a huge diesel-powered engine, steering wheel and navigational equipment.

Lauding CANU and the GDF for the successful operation, the President dismissed suggestions that the Guyana Police Force was not involved. “The CANU and the Police constantly work in cooperation with each other. I think security forces all over the world work on a need to know basis. You don’t volunteer certain information at any time and it doesn’t mean anything,” he said.

A high-ranking Police Officer Demerara Waves Online News that “I was in the loop” in the “need to know” and “sensitive operation.” The President stressed the importance of regional and international security cooperation in reducing costs while reaping mutual rewards against crimes and criminal elements.

CANU said in a statement that the blue craft known as a Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible (SPSS) was found two miles in on one of the creeks branching off from the Waini River, North West District. There a camp consisting of three structures – accommodation, workshop area and generator. 

The anti-drug agency said the accommodation had the capacity to sleep approximately 12 persons. Law enforcers also found a kitchen area located within the accommodation. The workshop consisted of pulleys, power tools, paint, and several fiber glass materials.  Based on the items present, it is evident that this area was used to build the SPSS found in the creek.

A CANU official believed that groups of drug traffickers were turning their attention to that virtually isolated and forested area of Guyana’s north western coast to make SSPSs and load tons of cocaine they would have brought here for onward shipment to West Africa, Central America, US and other countries.

Operation Plan Colombia has effectively grounded most SSPSs that used the Pacific Ocean.