#Jamaica, June 17, 2022 – During 2021, a total of 34,832kgs of marijuana and 1,226kgs of cocaine were seized by the police, according to data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). These seizures occurred inland, at the airports, and at controlled and uncontrolled seaports.
The disclosure was made by National Security Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, at the opening of the Organization of American States (OAS): Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) training workshop on monitoring, and evaluation of national drug policies, strategies and plans, on June 15, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.
Dr. Chang said implementation of several key mechanisms and the collaborative efforts of stakeholders resulted in the seizures.
These include the establishment of Special Investigative Units by the Narcotics Division, aimed at disrupting and dismantling narcotics organizations related to the drugs flow between Jamaica and the drug consumer countries.
Also, the review and amendment of legislation critical to anti-drug efforts has had a significant impact on the influx of illicit drugs into the country, including the enhancement and strengthening of Jamaica’s Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism legal framework and information/data sharing mechanisms available to law-enforcement operatives.
In addition, there is an inter-agency collaboration for the collection of data used to analyse trends and intelligence for the identification and short-listing of suspects (anti-narcotics interdictions), which are done at sea. These are collaborative efforts between the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Marine Police of the JCF.
Another deterrent is the establishing and strengthening of measures for international and regional cooperation through the signing of international agreements and the enactment of legislation to provide an effective framework to facilitate the signing and implementation of these agreements.
“Reference is made to the steps being taken by Jamaica to amend its Maritime Drug Trafficking (Suppression) Act, 1998 (MDTSA) to facilitate the ratification of the Treaty of San José. The Treaty of San José represents a regional effort to tackle the issue of drug trafficking by air and sea through proactive law-enforcement cooperation,” the Minister said, emphasising that it is through the implementation of these mechanisms that Jamaica has been able to decrease the illicit supply of drugs that enter the country.
The responsibility to manage and implement supply reduction measures are tackled collaboratively through the JCF, the JDF, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), and the Port Security Corps, among others.
Over the years, Dr. Chang said efforts have centred around stakeholder coordination and international cooperation; investment in developing data-driven policies and practices; legislative reform; capacity building; acquisition of required equipment, tools and software; and implementation of alternative programmes have been prioritised.
The two-day training workshop (June 15 and 16) is being hosted by the Government of Jamaica, in collaboration with OAS/CICAD, with funding support from the Government of Canada.
It aims to support OAS member states in preparing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the national drug policy strategy or plan.
Contact: Rochelle Williams
138 illegals add to the over 900 migrants captured by TCI Joint Forces
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre and partners continue to work together to protect our borders and keep TCI secure.
During the evening of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre identified a target of interest and immediately started to track the vessel around 5 miles North West of Providenciales travelling at around 7 knots.
The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and intercepted a vessel containing irregular migrants. Following a delicate, coordinated operation with the necessary stabilization of the vessel which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and the occupants were without life vests, the RTCIPF Marine Unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment to support the delicate operation.
The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants and then the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 4:45am with a total of 138 persons, 98 males and 40 female including 1 juvenile, who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department. One male needed immediate medical attention in relation to a leg injury sustained.
Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was desperately overcrowded, unsafe and risked the lives of those on board. It continues to demonstrate the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and Health to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos Islands safe.
In the last couple of months over 900 individuals on 9 dangerous and unseaworthy vessels have been intercepted here in the TCI.
I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call CrimeStoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Caption: FILE PHOTO
International joint forces seize $99 Million in Cocaine in Caribbean Sea
By Dana Malcolm
The US Coast Guard, and ships from the Netherlands made drug busts in the Caribbean Sea over the last few weeks resulting in a cumulative seizure of 5,237 pounds of cocaine. The Coast Guard says the illegal narcotics which were offloaded at Base Miami Beach last Friday value $99 million.
The drugs were seized in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea by crews from: Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Friesland, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Groningen.
Coast Guard Commanding officer of the Thetis, which transferred the drugs to the base in Miami, Justin Nadolny praised the partnership between themselves and the Netherlands which led to the massive seizure.
“Interdicting drug traffickers on the open ocean is challenging work and every interdiction is complex and unique,” he said. “This offload is a testament to the teamwork and devotion of every crew assigned to carry out this mission, and it showcases the strength of the valuable international partnerships united to combat transnational organized crime. The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”
The Turks and Caicos also have an agreement with the US Coast Guard signed in recent months which allows for tighter partnerships between the two countries (and the Bahamas) in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking in the county’s waters.
Turks & Caicos Airline becomes first International flight at Ian Fleming in Jamaica
By Dana Malcolm
#Jamaica, June 25, 2022 – As the Turks and Caicos and Jamaica celebrated a new connection on June 16th as Intercaribbean Airways launched their newest flight to Boscobel, St Mary, half an hour from the famous city of Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s North Coast.
The 007 departed Providenciales at 9:30 am Thursday (June 16) with Lyndon Gardiner, Chairman of InterCaribbean Airways; Trevor Sadler, InterCaribbean Airways CEO; Chris and Kayon Stokes of NCS Money Services; Team Beaches TCI, some media namely SunTCI and Magnetic Media as well as a few Jamaicans anxious to get home.
The 007, Ian Fleming Airport’s first international commercial flight, was received in Jamaica with much fanfare. It was met by a Jamaican delegation including Audley Shaw, Minister of Transport for Jamaica and Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister and a cheerful water cannon spurt to sweeten the arrival of the first international flight at Ian Fleming.
Bartlett was enthusiastic about the prospects that Inter-Caribbean was bringing to Jamaica.
“The presence today of this inaugural flight from a Caribbean island into Boscobel is a bigger statement than what has been made because what it does is to put together the idea of connectivity in a material way. It is how we as a region are going to be able to connect with each other in a way that brings economic value and prosperity to each other and that’s the power of this movement that begins today.”
The minister noted that Tourism was a booming business if only we were aware of how to take charge of it.
“We are about ideas and how to convert ideas into things that have a material value, we are the most consumption-driven activity on planet earth. “ he added “the next critical consideration that has to be looked at …is that we need a single visa regime for touristic purposes that can be provided for visitors coming into your space… a CARICOM visa that allows you entry into all the CARICOM countries.”
Gardiner expressed his excitement for the venture telling the media,“Only the sun covers the Caribbean better than we do.” He also told the gathered press. “We will now have the ability to bring people from across the Caribbean, whether it be for business, pleasure, or furthering multi-destination vacations, by offering Boscobel residents and visitors direct service across the Caribbean and vice versa.”
InterCaribbean Airways will run their flight monthly initially and then upgrade to weekly flights. It would be the third flight between Turks and Caicos and Jamaica; already Kingston and Montego Bay are serviced by the airline based in Providenciales, TCI.
American Airlines and QCAS Aero are also scheduled to begin flights to the Ian Fleming International this year.
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