An investigation by the Guyana Revenue Authority into the discovery of more than 1100 pounds of cocaine in a rum shipment from Guyana has revealed that when the shipment left Guyana, there were only boxes of rum in the container.
The cocaine bust took place in The Netherlands.
In a statement today, the GRA said the rum shipment was scanned in Guyana according to the stipulated procedures, and no contraband or prohibited/restricted substances were detected among the rum cargo when scanned.
According to the GRA, the consignment was shipped to the Netherlands through another Caribbean territory, where it was offloaded and remained for a period before it was loaded onto another vessel destined for the Netherlands, where the discovery was made.
The GRA said through joint enforcement and intelligence activities with the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit and other local and foreign law enforcement bodies, it enforced a system of rigid controls that reduces the probability of narcotic substances being exported or transhipped through Guyana’s ports.
The process, the GRA said, allows for simultaneous viewing of the scanned images by officers of the sister agencies, and backup checks prior to shipping.
GRA said the images are stored and backed up at various sites reducing the likelihood of a repeat of the deletion of images.
The agency noted that it is continuing to work along with other agencies in and out of Guyana as the probe continues.
The Customs Anti Narcotics Unit has also indicated that based on its investigations and review of the scanning images, the cocaine must have been placed in the shipment after it left Guyana.
After containers are scanned locally, they are placed at the assigned wharf for loading onto the vessels. While at the wharves, the security of the containers becomes the responsibility of the operators of the wharf facilities. A container could be stored on a wharf for several days after scanning before being loaded on the vessels for export.