Regional Director for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Matthew Donahue has made it clear that while the small drug traffickers will not be ignored, the DEA is mostly interested in pursuing the huge organizations behind international crime – which more times than often have a multinational presence.
Donahue made the statement as the US Government officially commissioned the local DEA office today, which will operate out of the Kingston US Embassy complex.
According to the career law enforcement official, the DEA look at things “internationally.”
“We don’t focus solely on just the small time drug traffickers, we focus on international people who are going to be bringing drugs in the country and taking drugs out the country,” said Donahue.
He further noted that crime organisations will be attracting much of the attention of the agency.
“We focus on organisations that are not just drug traffickers. You see drug trafficking and you may think that’s all they are…the same people that are doing drug trafficking are illegally mining gold, illegally mining minerals, committing assassinations – they are all out of a criminal organization that works transnational throughout the region,” said the Director.
“We are going to dismantle and destroy these organisations,” he emphasized.
It was also noted that there will be some hiccups with respect to the work of the Agency but they will persevere.
“If we don’t do it, what’s your community going to look like? What the world going to look like?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said he believes that the mere presence of DEA will serve as a deterrent to local criminals.
“To have them here in Guyana is going to bolster and be an asset to the Guyana Police Force, CANU [Customs and Anti-Narcotics Unit], and the Guyana Revenue Authority,” said Ramjattan.
He also indicated that there will be some other ancillary benefits for Guyanese in the form of training etc.
US Ambassador Perry Holloway re-emphasized that the DEA will not be working as police in Guyana, noting that they will not be “kicking down doors.”
He indicated that the primary focus will be cases that have a nexus to the United States but should officials stumble upon other information, it would be delivered to local authorities.
“You will begin to see results in the comings months and years,” Holloway said later adding “everyone has to be involved it’s not only going to be CANU, DEA, and police.”