Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan recently noted that ethics and professionalism are the cornerstones for Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) agents as they battle the “huge monster of illegal narcotics.”

He listed the use of firearms, interviewing techniques, searching techniques (for cargo, houses, vehicles, and boats), airline documentation, forensic awareness, handling of prisoners as other key areas of importance.

Addressing ranks at the opening of CANU’s 2018 annual staff training, from September 17 to 21, the Minister reminded them that Guyana is a signatory to several international human rights conventions and is governed by the rule of law.

“Every man, including the suspect and criminal, must have their rights enjoyed,” said the minister, adding that the brain is still the best tool for the professional enforcement officer to indicate whether a suspect is about to commit a crime.

“After having processed it in your brain, you can say that there is something strange going on… Bringing that kind of awareness that you will learn from your lecturers here is so vital. Make it part of your instinct as it were and we will have a better set of CANU officers who are going to be better able to process that kind of suspect and suspect behaviour.”

Minister Ramjattan urged the 92 ranks to see themselves as part of the big picture in the fight to counternarcotics dealing, through inter-agency building and collaboration. He stressed, “Ranks can make a difference individually through capacity building and training” in the fight against the “huge monster of illegal narcotics.”

Ramjattan also said that cocaine, for example, costs around $8,000 per kilogramme in Guyana but is sold for as much as $70,000 per kilo in Europe. He said that there are huge payoffs, “and the payoffs can even seep into the judiciary, in the administration, in police and even in the units formed to do law enforcement in relation to this thing.”

Ramjattan said, too, that the efforts by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Police Narcotics Units, Joint Services, Minister Ramjattan noted, have prevented Guyana from being infiltrated in all aspects of society, by the narcotics trade as obtains in nations such as Colombia, “and hopefully we are going to ensure that it never does.”


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