Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 21:49 by Denis Chabrol
The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on Tuesday night strongly hinted that approximately 1,100 pounds of cocaine were loaded in a shipping container with El Dorado Rum in another Caribbean country before it was busted in Rotterdam last week.
The law enforcement unit of the Ministry of Home Affairs said that “there was no sign of tampering” of the container in Guyana.
“After departing Guyana, the container transited another Caribbean territory where it was offloaded and remained for a period of five days before it was loaded onto another vessel and shipped to the Netherlands where the discovery was made,” CANU said.
CANU did not name the country where the shipping container transited, but crimesite.nl reported that it stopped at the Spanish-speaking at the Dominican Republic before it was transported to The Netherlands.
According to the anti-drug agency, the shipment of rum was loaded in Guyana and all of the procedures were followed. “The container in question was scanned by the relevant law enforcement agencies, prior to departure and there were no contraband items concealed among the documented cargo.
After the container was scanned, it was transported to a city wharf where it was stored in a secure area awaiting departure. Prior to departure as per standard operations procedure, a physical check would have been done to ensure that both the line and custom seals were intact and there was no sign of tampering,” CANU added.
Crimesite reported that the drugs were hidden in several gym bags between boxes of bottles of rum, destined for a company in Spijkenisse. According to the Public Prosecution Service in Rotterdam, the company seems to have nothing to do with the smuggling.
CANU sought to assure Guyanese that the shipping container was at all times properly checked and secured before it was loaded on a ship.
According to that anti-narcotics agency, the law enforcement authorities remain committed to working together to ensure that narcotics are not transshipped through Guyana’s ports.
“Several initiatives have been put in place to prevent this from occurring along with the creation of several multi agency units tasked with implementing and enforcing the new security measures.”
CANU said it was also working with several local companies to assist in strengthening their security protocols at the various ports – air and sea, to ensure that their businesses are not used to facilitate the movement of narcotics and other contraband.