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DEA office in Guyana set for opening next week

The United States Embassy in Guyana where the American Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) office would be based.

The United States Embassy in Guyana where the American Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) office would be based.

The United States premier narco-trafficking agency is set to formally open its office in Guyana next week, several years after first floating the idea.

The Drug Enforcement  Agency (DEA) office in Guyana will be stationed at the American Embassy in Georgetown.

American Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway and a senior official of the Guyana government are expected to address the formal opening session on 10th February, 2015.

US officials here have repeatedly said American drug agents would not on their own be engaged in anti-narcotics operations but would work closely with their Guyanese counterparts.

The DEA has already agreed to vet local agents from the Guyana Police Force and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) who would be working closely with international counterparts.

Former American Ambassador to Guyana, Brendt Hardt has said the DEA office in Georgetown would be gathering information to help build cases against drug lords here.

In the past,  the US has apprehended Guyanese drug lords in other countries and taken to New York where they have been convicted and jailed. They include Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan and Peter Morgan who were taken away from Trinidad and Panama respectively. Morgan has since been released from an American jail.

In the past, the major reason that had been given by the previous People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration had been the unavailability of a suitable location for the DEA to set up an office in Guyana. Most of the DEA’s activities in relation to Guyana were handled by its office in Trinidad.