As Guyana wages a war on drugs, 28 drug traffickers have been convicted for a number of drug-related offences so far for this year while more than 60 persons have been charged during the first-half of 2022.
In the mid-year report of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU), it was noted that during the second quarter of 2022 (April-June), seven (7) persons were convicted for drug-related offences, taking the total number of convictions for the first half of the year to 22, as 15 other persons were convicted between January and March, 2022. The convictions stemmed from cases filed from 2018 through 2022.
“A total of 7 persons were convicted during the 2nd quarter of the 2022 period, 3 for a matter occurring in 2021 and 4 for matters occurring in 2022. Fifty-six percent of matters dealing with cannabis, 33% cocaine and 11% being methamphetamine,” CANU Head, James Singh explained.
It was noted that the persons, who were convicted during the second quarter of 2022, were sentenced to a total of 15 years, five months and fined approximately $35M. One person, he said, was sentenced to community service.
“Only once during the reporting period, someone’s sentencing involved community service and this was in relations to offences involving marijuana and meth possession of less than 48 grams, additionally, a $30,000 fine was also imposed on the offender,” the CANU Head explained.
Convictions aside, Mr Singh disclosed that the Unit, during the second quarter of 2022, detained 41 persons for drug offences, of them, 27 were charged and a total of 23 cases filed.
“Approximately 66 percent of the 41 people detained were charged with drug offences, with males being 85% of those charged and females making up 15% of the total,” he further explained while noting that of the total charges, cannabis offences accounted for 74%, cocaine offences 22% and ecstasy offences 4%.
According to him, 41% of the persons arrested were between the ages 30 and 50, while persons between the ages of 18 and 30 years accounted for 45% and those 50 years and older, 11%. Only 2% of the persons were below the age of 18.
Earlier in the year, similar trends were observed.
“For the 1st quarter, the unit detained 76 persons for drug offenses, with 39 persons charged, and 39 cases made. The Unit had 15 convictions and 74 pending cases at the end of the period,” the CANU Head reported.
It was explained that the convictions were based on cases filed between 2018 and 2022. Notably, 7 of the cases were for matters that occurred in 2022.
“Seventy-five percent of the matters dealing with cannabis, 19% cocaine and 6% being cannabis seeds and resin,” he disclosed while adding that the persons convicted were sentenced to a total of 31 years and were fined a total of $273,680,680.00.
It was also noted that 51% of the persons detained were charged with drug offences with females accounting for 23% and males accounting for 77%.
“Forty-five percent of the total charged were offences dealing with cannabis, 52% relating to cocaine and 3% ecstasy. Although more persons were charged for drug offences dealing with cocaine, cannabis has been the most dominant drug on the market based on the quantity seized,” Mr. Singh explained.
According to Mr Singh, four alleged career criminals who have been active for approximately 25 years were arrested in March and June of 2022.
During the third quarter of 2022 there were six convictions.
The CANU Head said the successes recorded during the first and second quarters of the year were as a result of the dedication of his staff, who worked in conjunction with other organisations.
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