Security forces make billion-dollar cocaine bust
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey has issued a stern warning to criminals following another major drug bust on Monday.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) reported that soldiers intercepted a boat off the coast of St Thomas carrying approximately 2,000 pounds of cocaine, which have an estimated street value of J$1.1 billion. The JDF also said that three Jamaicans were on board when they intercepted the boat with 19 parcels of cocaine. It is reported that the shipment came from South America.
The senior cop applauded the efforts of the soldiers in nabbing the drug traffickers while pointing to the security forces' improved ability to protect the country's borders.
"It is a testament that we are getting better. The police, or the security forces in general, will continue to be robust. We will continue to pursue any form of criminality, whether it be drugs or arms trafficking or any other forms of criminality. We will continue to be vigilant and continue to find a way to strengthen our resolve to ensure that Jamaica is the ideal place that people want to work and stay safe," Bailey said.
Bailey confirmed to THE STAR that the suspects were in police custody but declined to state whether or not formal charges will be proffered.
Monday's seizure was the second time in recent months that the authorities have foiled a major drug transshipment. In September, more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine were seized during an operation at the Ian Flemming Airport in Boscobel, St Mary. The contraband has a street value of US$25 million J$3.7 billion.
While conceding that Jamaica has always been a transshipment destination for drug smugglers, Bailey has assured the public that the police and other law enforcement agencies are equipping themselves to combat the high level of criminality.
"We have upped our game in terms of two of the biggest seizures ever, so it is showing that our border protection initiative to secure Jamaica is actually working," he said.