APNU says Government has a Bogus Drug War – 19th Nov 2012
Member of Parliament and Former Police Commissioner, Winston Felix, in a stinging attack on the Government and its war against drugs, said, not much has been done since 1997 in pushing ahead with the fight against drugs in this country.
He said all the drug strategies that the Government has been putting together may be nothing more than ink on paper. He said, many of the plans have never been implemented, among them a regional plan to have units set up in all 10 regions of Guyana. He said those units are non-existent and because of the absence, there is no way to continuously track what is going on across the country. The former top cop was speaking on the APNU’s TV programme facing the nation over the weekend and he also said, that the PPP Government did not pay attention to projects across South America and that it could have tapped into that would have benefited Guyana in the fight. He made specific reference to a Brazilian initiative that was not taken on board.
Felix said even when the administration was confronted with a number of illegal airstrips across the country and it was recommended that the Guyana Defence Force take on the patrol of many interior locations, the administration complained that it could not sustain such an initiative and that too never got off of the ground.
Over the years several illegal airstrips have been discovered and believed to have been used as landing grounds for small aircraft that would ferry drugs from South American countries through this country.
Felix said airplanes from out of Guyana that are suspected to be involved in drug running have been able to make in and out of the country without ever being challenged. That is something he said that has been ongoing for the past 20 years and still continues today.
He said there is the need for a better surveillance system and it does not appear that the administration is prepared to tackle that issue.
The former Commissioner of Police is of the view that there is the need for a whole lot more to be done. He said too while crime figures are released showing a decrease in some criminal offences, the population may not be any safer.
Felix was credited as Commissioner of Police as being forceful in dismantling the Shaheed Roger Khan drug gang which forced the drug king pin out of Guyana into Suriname where he was arrested and subsequently taken to the United States through Trinidad where he was convicted and sentenced for drug running and the trafficking of drugs into the United States.
The Government for its part, has been saying that the drug enforcement agencies in Guyana have been seeing an increase in drug seizures and persons being charged and taken before the courts. However there is still a high number of cold cases especially when it comes to cocaine being ferried through the Cheddi Jagan Airport and other attempts to do the same.