The Government has decided to cut ties with longtime Head of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, James Singh.
Singh, who had been serving as Head of the leading drug enforcement agency since 2008, was informed today by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan that his services would no longer be needed.
He had been on leave since March of this year. News Source understands that the decision to fire Singh from the job came following the completion of a recent Commission of Inquiry into the release of a suspected drug boat and its crew from CANU custody earlier this year. That probe focused on whether that release may have been influenced or sanctioned by a foreign government.
The boat was not found with any drugs, but it was suspected that it may have been used to make a drug drop off or pick up in international waters.
Though the findings of the Commission were not made public, it was felt that Singh would have to take ultimate responsibility for the release of the boat even if the was not directly involved.
Head of the National Anti Narcotics Agency, Major General (Rtd) Michael Atherly has been acting as CANU Head since Singh was sent on leave.
In a brief comment to News Source, Singh said he is surprised by the move to fire him from the job and had not been expecting it.
Under his watch, the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, has been stepping up the fight against the drug trade. Over the past few years, CANU has been working closer with the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the two have partnered on several major drug busts locally and internationally. It was also under Singh’s watch that CANU started to see a major increase in drug convictions locally.
But the agency has also found itself having to tackle leaks and charging some of its own, over their suspected links to some members of the criminal underworld.