GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug 20, CMC – Guyana Monday signed an agreement allowing the country to be part of a global system to combat the trafficking of drugs, guns and other items inside shipping containers.
The project will entail the creation of an inter-agency unit involving the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU).
Suriname is expected to sign the accord on Wednesday and last month, the Jamaica government announced it had signed a Letter of Intent with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to participate in the International Container Control Programme.
The programme is funded by the Canadian government and will result in Jamaica partnering with the UNODC and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), to strengthen the country’s ability to process containers that pass through the nation’s ports.
Under the programme, there will be the formation of dedicated, interagency container profiling units, comprising teams from Customs, the Jamaica Constabulary and Jamaica Defence Forces, the Port Authority of Jamaica and other relevant law enforcement officers.
UNDOC Regional Manager, Troels Vester, said the system would involve a team of analysts and inspectors who would execute their duties with minimum disruption and “who are trained and equipped to work together to systematically target high-risk containers, using risk analysis and other proactive techniques with the minimal disruption to free flow of legitimate trade”.
He said a two-week training programme would be conducted for law enforcement officials from Guyana and Suriname from October 1 to 12.
Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, said that Guyana’s involvement in the programme is due partly to the role played by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt said that the project would help the country intercept potential terrorist activities, combat smuggling of goods and tax evasion and choke the smuggling of chemical precursors for narcotic production and illicit drugs.
“This programme will help develop a global network that builds the capacity for Guyana’s law enforcement bodies to combat transnational crime and drug trade,” he added.