Drug Enforcement Agents in The Netherlands and in Guyana are probing the discovery of more than 1100 pounds of cocaine in a shipment of rum that originated in Guyana.
The Dutch authorities made the discovery of the cocaine among the boxes of rum when the shipment arrived at a port in The Netherlands on the 25th of November. Authorities in Guyana were contacted about the discovery and an immediate investigation was launched.
Head of CANU, James Singh, told News Source today that based on the investigations so far, at the point where the container with the rum was passed through the scanner system, there was nothing illegal that was spotted in the container.
“About 590 kilos of cocaine was found in a container that originated in Guyana and the container was in transit in two other territories before arriving in Rotterdam. What I can say is that the container was scanned and checked before it left Guyana and we have verified that there was nothing but the product which was rum from one of the local distilling companies inside the container. There was nothing illegal when the container was scanned and we have the images to verify that”, Mr. Singh said.
The CANU Head would not rule out the possibility of the illegal drugs being added to the container after the scanning process. He said a full investigation is underway and he is awaiting additional information from his counterparts in The Netherlands.
Once the scanning is completed of a container for export, seals are placed on the container and it is then stored at the wharf of the company responsible for its shipping.
Mr. Singh said “from the checks and balances that we have done, when it was scanned by the law enforcement authorities, there was nothing inside. It spent a few days on the wharf under the control at the port facility then it was transshipped to two other territories. We are waiting on our colleagues from overseas to share what they have and whether there was anything to suggest that it would have been loaded after leaving Guyana. But right now aside from the fact the container left Guyana, there is nothing to indicate that the drugs left in the container from Guyana”.
The CANU Head indicated that once the scanning is completed and the container is secured at the wharf, its security becomes the responsibility of the company that operates the wharf.
“During that period, it is now at one of the city wharves which would be under their care and control, meaning that there is security and cameras, and so that city wharf would be responsible for the container being at its location. Just prior to the container being loaded onto the vessel, the seals and everything are double-checked to ensure nobody tampered with it or so on. And that’s why we are waiting on our colleagues overseas to respond to us to see whether or not it arrived intact or while being transshipped, it may have been contaminated”, the CANU Head explained.
The large bulky packages of cocaine were found plastic-wrapped fitted between the boxes of rum in the shipment.
In the past year, there have been concerns expressed about the scanning system at the ports in Guyana after there were two other drug busts in shipments that originated in Guyana.