Police seize 80 pounds of cocaine at Questelles beach
December 3, 2013
Police seize 80 pounds of cocaine at Questelles beach

The coordinated intelligence work of the different law enforcement agencies here is bearing fruit.{{more}}

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Ralph Gonsalves made this assertion last Thursday, as he announced in Parliament that a joint operation involving the drug squad, the coastguard, the Rapid Response Unit and the Special Services Unit had resulted in the seizure of 80 lbs of cocaine, with a street value of millions of dollars.

Gonsalves said that on Tuesday, November 26, at 6:30 a.m., the drug squad, acting on information received of a cocaine shipment at sea, in the waters of St Vincent and the Grenadines, initiated a joint operation of the different law enforcement agencies.

Gonsalves said the shipment involved “local and Venezuelan drug men on speedboats.

“The local speedboat collected the drug and landed it at Questelles beach. The drug was collected and hidden before the coastguard and police on land got to the beach. It is alleged that a Venezuelan national also came ashore with the drug. The beach and bushes were searched and a single nylon sack/bag was found in the bushes above the beach,” Gonsalves said, reading from a report he said he received in his capacity as Minister of National Security.

The Prime Minister said the bag was searched and was found to contain 34 bricks (80 lbs or 36,320 g) of cocaine, which, he said, is a multimillion dollar haul.

“No arrests have been made; investigations are ongoing. The drug is being secured by the drug squad of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister said the intelligence arm of the police has been enhanced and they are therefore able to move with “greater certainty in a number of matters than hitherto.”

He also said that the coastguard base in the southern Grenadines at Canouan has been of some help.

Although no one has been arrested so far, the Prime Minister said the person who was expecting the shipment would have a lot of questions to answer.

“The person who had this shipment coming to him or her, will have a lot of questions to answer to their bosses, because this is a lot of cocaine, valued at a lot of money. We don’t produce cocaine here; we know that it has been for many years a trans-shipment point, but we are making it more and more difficult for the drug traffickers to trans-ship the cocaine.

“Because this is a trade which has a lot of money, … when you are able to nab operators who are “big”, and they become incarcerated, there are always… one or two persons who are of a lesser rank, who would find themselves seeking promotion and it is a matter which we are … noting and the coordinated intelligence work of different agencies is bearing fruit,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, the coast guard, the Rapid Response Unit, and all those who were involved in “receiving intelligence, analysing and moving forward with dispatch.

“This is again, the effort of the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines to put a stop to the trafficking in cocaine or at least to restrict its spread,” Gonsalves said.