Linden, Berbice identified as major ganja planting hubs

There have been several major cannabis busts and interceptions of individuals transporting the illicit substance from Berbice in Region Six and Linden in Region 10, and this is because this illicit substance is largely cultivated in those areas.
This is according to Head of the Police Narcotics Branch, Senior Superintendent Kurleigh Simon, who told Guyana Times on Thursday that the reality of the situation is that the leading regions for cannabis cultivation have been identified as Linden in Region 10 and the Berbice River locations in Region Six.

Head of the Police Narcotics Branch, Senior Superintendent Kurleigh Simon

Simon said that, in the past four months, the Police Narcotics Branch has already completed in excess of 15 eradication exercises in Berbice, and these were done in more than 30 fields where marijuana was being cultivated and harvested.
“Since the year started, (the) total eradication exercises totalled in excess of 50 acres of land that cannabis was grown (on). Most of the lands were state-owned, while some were areas with squatters; squatting areas basically…”
According to the Senior Superintendent, a lot of work has been done by ranks during the first quarter of 2019, in comparison to what was completed for the entirety of last year.
“Last year we had 15 eradication exercises, and of course seizures, but we have upped the ante in this fight. We recognise that the demand for this substance has to be limited, and the main way to do this is to cut off the source of supply. We are being proactive rather than reactive, where instead of seizures we are targeting cutting off the sources.”
Meanwhile, in relation to the recent arrests of Berbicians who were nabbed in minibuses with cannabis in their possession, Guyana Times was told that those persons were en route to Georgetown with the illicit substance in their possession most likely to supply persons or a market there. However, investigations into those matters are still ongoing, but the reality of those situations is that the cannabis was obtained from Berbice, Mr. Simon added.
On Wednesday, Police in “B” Division finally managed to intercept a Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, Berbice resident who was wanted in connection with the possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.
According to the Police, a team of ranks, upon information received, swooped down on the suspect’s home at around 11:15h on the day of his arrest. A search conducted on the premises unearthed sixteen taped parcels of compressed cannabis. When weighed, the illegal drugs amounted to 27.2 kilograms. As such, the 27-year-old was arrested.
In another case, a young man was taken into custody after he was caught with a quantity of cannabis in his possession while travelling in public transportation.
The 24-year-old suspect, of New Amsterdam, Berbice, was a passenger in a minibus on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) when the vehicle was stopped by Police.
Reports are that at about 15:00h on Friday, Police ranks stopped the minibus on the Vigilance Public Road, ECD, but as they looked at the passengers, the young man appeared nervous. This resulted in his belongings being searched and the drugs being unearthed. The Berbician was taken into custody. The cannabis weighed 1945.5 grams.
In February, a duo was also intercepted by Police ranks with a quantity of cannabis in a minibus.
The passengers were en route to Georgetown from Berbice when the minibus in which they were travelling was stopped at Weldaad Police Station, West Coast Berbice (WCB).
Based on a tipoff, the two passengers were searched, during which 1986 grams of the illegal substance was unearthed.
On January 15, another passenger was nabbed by ranks with some 3283 grams of cannabis concealed in seven taped parcels on the Weldaad Public Road, WCB.
The suspect, a 28-year-old of Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, Berbice, was intercepted at about 14:10h while en route to Georgetown.
This publication understands that, acting on information, the ranks stopped the vehicle in which he was traversing and searched him when the discovery was made. (Kristen Macklingam)