Sunday 24 March, 2019

TTPS warns against drug trafficking via local courier services

For some people, sending a package on behalf of a stranger spells trouble but for others, it might be a quick way to make a buck.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), however, is warning members of the public against this practice as they might become the subject of a criminal investigation into drug trafficking.

Acting Assistant Superintendent of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU) Vernly Gift gave the advice while speaking at the TTPS Weekly Media Briefing at the Public Administration Building in Port-of-Spain on Wednesday.

He said the OCIU has foiled a number of attempts to ship out drugs at local courier services which offer international export.   ASP Gift said several of those individuals were targeted by drug pushers, some of whom had no idea.

“A number of persons were prosecuted for various narcotic offences but it has been duly noted that quite a few individuals locally are being approached to post mail or packages on behalf of drug traffickers, usually for a small fee. The problem arises when these persons are caught with illegal narcotics belonging to individuals they barely know. The OCIU advises that persons should avoid shipping or mailing packages on behalf of individuals unknown to them or whom they suspect may be involved in some illegal activity. If faced with a similar situation, persons are advised to contact the OCIU at 623-6207 and report same.”

ASP Gift said the TTPS and the Customs and Excise Division discover the items during the inspection of packages that they suspect may be carrying out dangerous drugs.  He said cocaine is the main drug seized in these instances.

 “In the main, cocaine is being shipped in those packages,” he said.

The Acting Assistant Superintendent also noted that the OCIU, since its creation in September 2017, has had “considerable success” in the seizure of firearms and narcotics:

1) 28.775 Kgs of Cocaine were seized and persons charged.

2) 208.93 Kgs of Marijuana were seized and persons charged.

3) Two (2) pistols and 123 assorted rounds of ammunition were seized and persons charged.

4) 100 lbs of cured marijuana and 25 lbs of marijuana seeds were destroyed in marijuana eradication exercises.

He also said the OCIU has contributed to the seizure of 16.5kgs of marijuana, three revolvers, one shotgun and 10 rounds of assorted ammunition across the various police divisions.

The following represents statistical data, as it relates to narcotics, firearms, and ammunition seizures, on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for the period 2016 and 2017 (as at November 7th, 2017):

According to a statement from the TTPS, a total of 446 persons were arrested and charged for firearms. It added 434 firearms were seized with no arrests made.

The OCIU is a unit within the TTPS which was formed on in September. The unit represents the amalgamation of the former Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB) with the former Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit (CGIU) that best represents law enforcement’s approach to Serious Crimes.

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