Two men were taken into custody by ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) following the discovery of more than 95 kilograms of cocaine in a vessel that was intercepted along the Pomeroon River on Monday.
Based on reports received, the vessel was stopped and searched by members of
the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard and it was during that operation that several well wrapped packages were unearthed and upon checking, the illegal substance detected.
The men and the suspected cocaine were transported to CANU’s headquarters as investigations continue. According to a release issued by the drug enforcement unit, the men are being interrogated and charges are likely to be instituted shortly.
However, it is not clear if the vessel is owned by Guyanese or originated from neighbouring Venezuela, since the information provided by CANU was limited.
Earlier in the year, a vessel was discovered in Guyana suspected to have been carrying cocaine but was allegedly released.
However, one month after its release, President David Granger ordered that a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) be launched to determine the role played by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the GDF Coast Guard in the detention and release of the vessel.
The findings of the CoI were later handed over to Minister of State Joseph Harmon by Chairman, Brigadier (Retired) Bruce Lovell.
Brigadier Lovell, in an invited comment, stated that inquiries are important particularly in matters of national interest.
The report that was presented, he noted, will assist Guyana in making some important decisions in the security architecture of this country and that it will assist in making decisions, particularly as it relates to the fight against narcotics trafficking.
“Inquiries do what any good journalist would do and that is to answer the Five W’s and the one H; the Who, the What, the Where, the Why and the When and it also goes a bit further and seeks to recommend what should be done to prevent any further occurrence,” he noted.
He further noted that in the recommendations, the Committee looked at a number of systematic issues, doctrine, organisation, training, leadership, personnel, facilities and, of course, policies.
The other members of the Commission were former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Winston Cosbert and Christine Bailey.
Meanwhile, at the commencement of the CoI, Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit, James Singh was asked to proceed on annual leave and Major General Retired, Michael Artherly assumed the post at the helm of the Unit.
Singh however, was subsequently relieved of his duties as the head drug enforcement body. It is believed that based on the findings during the COI, recommendations were made for him to be relived from his post.