Drug bust in Guyana uncovers US$800 million in cocaine

News-1Georgetown, Guyana (GINA) — One hundred and eighty-five packages (bricks) of cocaine, weighing 192 kilograms and worth approximately US$800 million, were discovered on Monday by authorities in Guyana on the MV Delta Dies, a foreign vessel registered in Cyprus.

Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials acted on intelligence provided by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) that one of the containers onboard the vessel had cocaine. The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit was called in and, together with officers of GRA’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) and Drug Examination Unit (DEU), conducted an examination of the container.

The drugs were concealed in a flat rack on board the vessel, which arrived in Guyana from Suriname with 11 crew members. The ship left the Netherlands via Paramaribo, Suriname, then proceeded to Guyana to load bauxite and was supposed to proceed to Spain.

In 2012 Guyana and Suriname joined the Container Control Programmes to improve port security and stop the use of containers for transnational criminal activities including the trafficking of narcotics.

A memorandum of understanding with UNODC paved the way for the establishment of joint port control units in Guyana and Suriname at John Fernandes and Nieuwe Haven respectively. It allowed both countries to strengthen the control of inbound and outgoing containers, improve real time exchange and analysis of information among other advantages.

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