Guyana: $1.1B worth of drugs taken off the streets last year

January 06, 2023 in Regional

The government of Guyana has been investing millions of dollars in the security sector to provide a safe and secure environment for Guyanese.

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), this includes purchasing vehicles for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) while training police officers and allocating half a million dollars to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) to advance its work.

These investments have proven fruitful with the GPF recording a 19 per cent decrease in serious crimes and now CANU increasing its narcotics seizure in 2022.

During 2022, CANU conducted several raids and was able to clear 3,403.68 kilogrammes of narcotics amounting to a street value of $1.1 billion off the streets.

This represents a 68.26 per cent increase in comparison to 2,022.88 kilogrammes of narcotics amounting to $634 million in 2021.

There were 24 cases of cocaine, 80 cases of cannabis, four cases of ecstasy, and two cases of methamphetamine in 2022.

Seizures were made in Regions Four, Six, Nine, Three, and Ten, with Region Four accounting for the largest narcotics seizure. In Region Four – 104.49 kilogrammes of cocaine, 410.12 kilogrammes of cannabis, 302.6 grammes of methamphetamine, 366 grammes of ecstasy, and one kilogramme of cannabis seeds were confiscated.

In Region Six – 50 grammes of cocaine, 2845.52 kilogrammes of cannabis, and 452.7 grammes of ecstasy were removed from the streets by the unit, while in Region Nine – 22 grammes of cocaine and 4.81 kilogrammes of cannabis were removed.

Meanwhile, in Region Three – 16.74 kilogrammes of cocaine and 118 grammes of cannabis were seized while in Region 10, 19.67 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized by CANU.

According to CANU’s data, the conviction rate saw improvements as there were 115 cases of narcotics in 2022, and 42 convictions. Comparatively, there were 75 cases in 2021 with 24 convictions.

In addition, 21 weapons were taken off the streets by the unit and handed over to the Guyana Police Force, and 1,708 rounds of ammunition were also confiscated.

Last year, one crossbow, eight shotguns, and 12 pistols were handed over to the force.