The recently formed, National Anti Narcotics Agency (NANA), is expected to take the lead role in coordinating inter-agency drug fighting initiatives as the Government moves to step up its fight against the narco trade in Guyana.
Minister of State, Joe Harmon, on Thursday told a post-cabinet press briefing that drug pushers should take note that the government has a firm position against drug trafficking in the country.
He said “the drug dealers out there can be assured that the Government is going to take a very firm stance on the matter and that we are going to increase the style of coordination of these agencies.”
Since taking office in May 2015, the coalition government has been making changes to its drug fighting strategies.
The National Anti Narcotics Agency was formed with the President appointing retired Army Chief, Major General Michael Atherly, as its head.
NANA is now expected to serve as the main coordinating agency to effect changes to the drug fighting strategy and to coordinate the other agencies involved in the drug fight.
The Customs Anti Narcotics Unit is the leading drug fighting agency in the country, with the Police Narcotics Branch and the Guyana Revenue Authority playing other key roles.
It is expected that NANA will bring the resources of those agencies together as they work along with international drug counter narcotics agencies in the drug fight.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan is to decide on the release of the recently completed report into allegations of CANU being involved in the drug trade.
An inquiry was held after embattled self-confessed drug lord, Barry Dataram, told a local newscast that he knows of the involvement of CANU officers in the drug trade.
Dataram is currently on trial in a multi million dollar drug trafficking case. While he appeared before the inquiry into his allegations, he did not offer any evidence to back up his claim.
However, the inquiry made a number of recommendations for better drug fighting in Guyana and highlighted a number of shortcomings of the Customs Anti Narcotics Agency. The Government has not said whether it intends to shake up the top brass at CANU.