Police in Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force are on the lookout for a known drug king-pin after making the largest illicit drug bust in recent times – almost 114 kilograms of cannabis sativa.
About 09:15 hours on Thursday, acting on information, a patrol intercepted a car, PFF 9723 at Plantation Profit.
The driver, 30-year old Ramal Madray of Benneth Dam, Rosignol was the lone occupant. The vehicle was said to be proceeding west in the direction of Georgetown.
A search of the vehicle unearthed 45 packets of what was said to be compressed cannabis sativa weighing 113 kilograms 636 grammes.
The booty was stashed in five large stripe plastic bags and had a street value of millions of dollars.
The driver was detained, interrogated and reportedly told detectives that he was asked by a popular resident of Rosignol Village to transport the booty to Georgetown and that when he arrived there he would be contacted via telephone and told of the drop-off point.
The investigation further revealed that the owner of the illicit drugs was also making the trip but in another vehicle some distance away.
Yesterday, Ramal Madray was placed before Magistrate Adele Nagamootoo at the New Amsterdam Magistrates’ Court to answer a charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded until the matter comes up on June 10 at the Weldaad Magistrate’s Court.
According to a senior police official, this bust is an achievement for Division ‘B’ and highlights the fact that the anti-narcotics battle is heading in the right direction.
It was disclosed that the cannabis sativa came from a farm up the Berbice River but the actual location has not yet been ascertained.
The findings of the Government of Guyana Anti-Narcotic Efforts document for cannabis sativa eradication between January 1 and October 31, 2009 revealed that the Ancient County (Berbice) topped the list for the cultivation of cannabis sativa (marijuana) in Guyana.
The document showed that in the entire country, squads destroyed a total of 176,013 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa planted on 157 acres of land. Of that figure, Berbice alone cultivated 162,068 kilogrammes on a total of 132.5 acres of land.
The breakdown is as follows - planters in the De Velde and Sand Hill area up the Berbice River cultivated 147,000 kilograms of cannabis sativa on 120.5 acres of land.
In the Ikurura Creek location along the Canje River, persons planted 15,050 kilograms on 11.5 acres of land.
In the backlands of Number Twenty-eight Village on the West Coast of Berbice, 18 kilogrammes of the illicit drug was planted on 0.5 acres of land.
Other areas across Guyana on the list include Hauraruni Creek in Demerara with 10,000 kilogrammes on seven acres in the second position and in the third Kurukuru with 1,250 kilogrammes of cannabis on 6.5 acres.
According to the document, 407 persons were slapped with ganja related charges across Guyana during the said January 1st to October 31, 2009 period.
For the entire country, during the January to September 2008 period, the Guyana Police Force seized 30 kilogrammes of cocaine and charged 91 persons.
For the corresponding period last year, 66.6 kilogrammes had been confiscated in the entire Guyana and 119 persons placed before courts across the country.
For cannabis sativa, during the January to September 2008 period, 35,000 kilogrammes had been seized in Guyana and 303 persons were charged countrywide.
In addition to known drug-areas, new ones like - Haffett, Gaetroy and Tabatali surfaced along the Berbice River.
According to senior official, one pound of compressed high-grade marijuana carries a street value of US$1,000.
Back then, the Commander of Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force, Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai had said he was not pleased that his division was known as a drug haven and that all the necessary strategies are in place.
He had said that police in the Ancient County would not stand idly by and allow a state of anarchy to take over.
The Division shifted gear in the anti-narcotic strategy in a bid to create a ‘drought’ on the illicit drug market. Instead of only focusing on destroying fields used for marijuana cultivation/burning the drug it was decided to go after the equipment used in the procedure and/or those purchased with suspected ill-gotten gains.
Planters, traffickers and others in the support system are also being targeted.
The Commander had said that this action would not only create a shortage of the illegal item but when the supply is limited the cost would increase, thus resulting in fewer users.
The anti-narcotic drive would continue until all cultivation fields are eradicated.
ABARY, WEST COAST BERBICE
MAY 29, 2010 BY KNEWS