The naval component of the Jamaica Defense Force conducted a drug seizure on the island’s west coast.
The Coast Guard of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) continues in 2018 with a frontal attack on drug trafficking. On May 3, 2018, authorities intercepted a ship and seized 347 kilograms of pressed marijuana off the coast of Westmoreland, in the western county district of Cornwall.
The seizure was the result of the routine patrols of the JDF Coast Guard aboard the Jamaican Ship HMJS Cornwall. Three men were arrested: one Haitian and two Jamaicans.
“The patrol team on board the HMJS Cornwall carried out routine surveillance operations when it detected a suspicious vessel, so it boarded the vessel to make an expert report,” Mayor Basil Jarrett, civil-military cooperation officer of the JDF, told Diálogo… “It is when they saw the three men throwing several packages overboard.”
The Coast Guard units recovered from the sea five packages of marijuana and found 11 more packages on board the ship. According to a 2015 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a kilo of marijuana can be worth US $ 8000 on the black market. The estimated value of the seized drug reaches more than US $ 3 million. The authorities also seized containers with almost 600 litres of fuel in the vessel.
“The men were handed over to the anti-narcotics police and the marijuana was heavy and subject to due process,” explained May. Jarrett. “There are suspicions that the seizures and arrests are connected to the exchange of weapons for drugs that takes place between Jamaican and Haitian criminals.”
Area of Broad Responsibility
According to the 2018 Report of the Strategy for the International Control of Narcotic Drugs of the US Department of State. UU., Jamaica is the main provider of marijuana in the United States and is the main transit route for cocaine that moves from South America to North America. The report indicates that drug traffickers also export marijuana grown in Jamaica, transported in small vessels and launches, in exchange for illegal weapons and contraband merchandise to other Caribbean nations.
For the Jamaican authorities, operations against marijuana trafficking and against transnational criminal organizations have paid off in recent years. According to the 2016 annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board, Jamaica eradicated 725 hectares of marijuana plants in 2015 – the crops on the island have an approximate area of 15,000 hectares. In the 2016 Annual Report of the Jamaica Police Force, the national police reported the seizure of 48 tons of marijuana.
The Jamaican authorities continue to support maritime operations. The 240,000 square kilometres of Jamaica’s maritime domain, 25 times its land area, are the responsibility of the JDF Coast Guard and its 300-member staff. The naval unit recently strengthened its protection and security capabilities at the maritime border. Acquired in 2017 two new ships Stan Patrol 4207, for patrol on the high seas. The new ships joined a fleet composed of eight patrols, coastal patrols and coastal interceptors.
The JDF Coast Guard is also about to receive a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA in English), to complement the tasks of maritime safety from the air. The purchase of the aircraft was approved in 2017.
“Most of our interdictions success occurred in conjunction with air support, which enabled us to detect surface elements on the specific objective,” said Captain Antonette Wemyss Gorman, commander of the Coast Guard JDF, on Joint efforts with the Air Wing of the JDF. “The MPA will arrive until October of this year . It’s a King Air 350; will be equipped with the necessary equipment. ”
In the first quarter of 2018, the JDF participated in Operation Riptide alongside the units of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, a combined exercise led by the US Coast Guard Atlantic Area. UU The mission of the operation was the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean, and the neutralization of transnational criminal networks. Operation Riptide also strengthened friendly ties between friendly countries and fostered operational coordination.
“Jamaica is a fundamental ally in the framework of our efforts to combat the work of transnational criminal networks that seek to exploit the maritime domain,” said the US Navy Frigate Captain. UU., Carmen DeGeorge, commander of the USCGC Resolute, who participated in the operation. “The officers and the Resolute crew are proud to be part of this unique event.”
On March 17, Operation Riptide intercepted suspicious vessels and seized 1.3 tons of marijuana. As part of the operation, seven drug traffickers were arrested.
“The US Department of Homeland Security UU He worked in combination with Jamaica, and we were able to efficiently intercept 1.3 tons of marijuana, “said Cap. of Frag. DeGeorge in a statement, after the return of the USCGC Resolute to its home port in St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 28, 2018. “Today’s operation represents the constant commitment of the United States and its international partners in the fight against transnational criminal networks and in the promotion of stability throughout the Caribbean region. ”
The JDF Coast Guard continues its fight against drug trafficking and the protection of its waters while sending a strong and clear message to criminals. “We take interdictions seriously, and we will use all available resources to deter and block the illicit activities,” Cap. of Nav. Wemyss Gorman.