Several ground handling agents and baggage handlers at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport have been arrested following the discovery of two packages of cocaine in the bottom of the Caribbean Airlines aircraft on Friday. Over five pounds of the cocaine was found neatly stashed in the bottom of the aircraft where the bags would be stored.
According to officials at the Cheddi Jagan Airport, as the investigations widen, “there is strong evidence to suggest that staff from more than one agency were working in collusion to facilitate this illegal activity”
Police sources have said that a number of leads were being followed and charges are expected to be filed against a number of staffers in the coming week.
The aircraft had touched down at Cheddi Jagan International Airport just after 12 noon on Friday from Trinidad to pick up passengers en route to Toronto, Canada.
According to officials at the airport, after all baggage was offloaded from the aircraft hold, airline security conducted “a sweep of the hold as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)”, and it was during the exercise that two packages of the illegal substance were discovered.
The police were summoned to check the suspect package and their contents proved to be cocaine. Initially, it was believed that the packages may have been placed in the aircraft in Trinidad and Tobago but as the investigations continued, officials said it became clearer that the packages of cocaine may have been placed in the aircraft just after it landed in Guyana and while it was being offloaded.
This is not the first time that airport staffers have been implicated in drug trafficking. There has always been the belief that many of them may have links to the criminal underworld beyond the security fences at the airport. A few years ago, a bag of cocaine was found just beyond the security fence close to the runway area. The Airport and several law and drug enforcement agencies have been stepping up their monitoring of the baggage area and passengers traversing the airport. In the past five months, there have been several drug busts at the country’s main international airport.
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