RGPF reports significant increase in drug peddling

Bags of marijuana – confiscated this year

Bags of marijuana – confiscated this year

Grenadians are being assured that the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is resolute in its fight against illegal drugs.

According to Head of the Drug Squad, Superintendent Rodriques James, no effort will be spared in ensuring that Grenada remains as drug-free as possible.

The senior police officer who was at the time briefing members of the local media last week Thursday at the Special Services Unit (SSU) Base at Camp Salines, St. George’s about the success story of his unit from last year said that they have noticed in recent times a significant increase in illegal drugs entering the country.

In 2012, the Drug Squad seized 2,264.15 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $5m.

“This is the largest single annual seizure that has ever been made in the history of fighting drugs in Grenada,” Supt. James said.

Marijuana Plants – showcased as part of the exhibition

Marijuana Plants – showcased as part of the exhibition

He added that the quantity of drugs seized in 2012 has more than doubled the annual seizure for any year in the past, and that it is significant both from a success stand point and from the magnitude of drug trafficking in the country.

Through the efforts of the Drug Squad, 517 males and 32 females were arrested in connection with the illegal drugs that were confiscated.

Of the total number of 549 who were arrested, 13 were non-nationals.

Supt. James indicated that most of the non-nationals who were arrested had in their possession cocaine.

The Head of the Drug Squad also released figures for this year. This included 1,433 pounds of seized marijuana that was put on display for the media that had a street value of approximately $3.5m.

In the month of January, 330 pounds of marijuana were seized by the lawmen on a small island just off Petite Martinique, which is known as Petite Dominique.

The latest seizure of marijuana took place on March 9 in which the lawmen stumbled upon 440 pounds of marijuana that was contained in bags hidden in an area in Grand Etang, St. Andrew’s.

One week earlier, during a joint operation that was carried out by the Grenada Coast Guard, Special Services Unit and the Drug Squad, the lawmen confiscated close to four hundred pounds of marijuana that has an approximate street value of just over $890,000.00.

Vincentian National Elconado Sergeant and Albert Henry from Telescope, St. Andrew’s were caught carrying a fine bag and two backpacks that contained 12 pounds of the marijuana.

Supt. James said based on their intelligence, they believe that the marijuana that gets to Grenada in a compressed state originate from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that a large number of the illegal drugs do not remain in the country.

According to him, Trinidad and Tobago has a lucrative market for marijuana and those involved in the trade might be targeting that particular market.

“Based on our intelligence and our investigations, we know for a fact that some of these drugs eventually find its way to Trinidad via the trafficker boats, and sometimes via the normal fishing boats,” he said.

The High Ranking Police Officer spoke of a large number of people who have been entering the country illegally through fishing boats with large quantities of drugs and stashing same on some of the small islands around Grenada.

At Hog Island, over 150 pounds of marijuana were seized so far for the year, while at Sandy Island there was a seizure of 194 pounds,

Additional success came this year on Marquis Island where 199 pounds of marijuana were seized.

The lawmen were also able to destroy 13,432 marijuana plants in 2012 as compared to 4,028 trees in the previous year.

Last year, two new Coast Guard vessels were given to Grenada as a gift by the U.S. Government, which Superintendent James believes had been able to significantly contribute to RGPF’s maritime security.

Supt James also indicated that the lawmen have seen a slight decrease in the trafficking of cocaine.

In 2012, 10.5 kilograms of cocaine were seized, unlike previous years when the seizure was just over 50 kilos.

The Head of the Drug Squad commended the men and women who fall under his command for their work in helping to combat the drug trade.

He warned that fighting drugs is no easy task as there are instances where the Officers do not get to sleep for two days as part of surveillance.

“There is a deep amount of passion within the men as far as fighting drugs is concerned,” he said.

Supt. James made a special appeal to the wider community to get on board in assisting law enforcement officials to help prevent illegal drugs from reaching the shores.

He said people can access the police hotline number 444-1958 to make reports anonymously, which he said would be treated confidentially.

The senior police officer indicated that a fight against illegal drugs is a fight to keep Grenada as a Paradise.

The Drug Squad was awarded in 2012 as being the most proactive department within RGPF against crime in the major awards category.

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