The United States has decided to set up a permanent presence of its Drug Enforcement Agency in Guyana as it moves to increase its efforts to go after the drug trade and local drug lords.
The announcement was made on Thursday morning during a Joint Press Conference between President Donald Ramotar and US Ambassador to Guyana, D. Brent Hardt.
According to the U.S Ambassador, the office will go into operation in keeping with the approval from the United States Congress. President Ramotar said the Government of Guyana is pleased with the move by the United States and this move should now further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Guyana had been pressing the United States for years for more assistance in the narcotics fight. The Government of Guyana has repeatedly called on the United States to do more in the drug fight in Guyana since the US often appears as the destination of choice for the illegal substance passing through the country.
When the DEA office goes into operation, it will be working closely with the local Customs Anti Narcotics Unit and the Police Force Narcotics Branch. The Guyanese agents are expected to be screened before they begin their work with the US Agents.
Guyana continues to find itself as a drug transhipment point for cocaine from South America heading to the United States and Europe. Over the past few years, there have been more cooperation between law enforcement agencies on both sides and that cooperation has seen several drug mules being busted.
The DEA already has an office set up in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago and that office was the one that would assist Guyanese agents from time to time.