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The local authorities in Guyana within four days, commencing Thursday November 12, 2020 have arrested and detained 3 Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Officials and a Customs Broker in relation to the exportation of 11.5 tons of cocaine from a port in Georgetown, Guyana to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. The GRA Customs Officers and the Broker are being detained at the Brickdam Police Station in the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana by the local Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). The four Guyanese men are being held without being charged, afforded any visits by their family and relatives and are cut off from communicating with anyone including a lawyer.
FINDING THE SCAPEGOAT
It is general, public and common knowledge that such a large shipment of drugs, in this instance, cocaine, would require a series of timely and well-orchestrated actions of signatories and supervisors such as, the shipping company port manifest controllers and planners who holds the Bill Cargo Description Record or Cargo Control Document, the ship Captain also known as the Ship Master and the ship’s Chief Mate and crew, the senior level government GRA officials and the Warehouse Manager and Supervisors along with their Manifests. Let us not forget the wharf security and inspection officers of the shipping company and its porters. However, the authorities have laden the blame on the GRA Customs Officers, the Broker and the none-functioning Wharf Scanner, while totally ignoring the scanner operators, supervisors and maintenance staff. How convenient it is for the container scanner not to work exactly during the period of the passage of the 11.5 ton of cocaine?
REASONABLE SUSPICION AND THE EVIDENCE
It is legitimately obvious to the intellectual populace of the world that this well-orchestrated shipment of cocaine goes above and beyond 3 Customs Officials and a Customs Broker. All the evidence thus far speaks volumes to say even if a Customs Officer stationed at any local wharf that would presumably raise an alarm and/or object to the passage of such a mother-load would NOT even be stationed at or be allowed on site during the passage of the shipment. Let alone have the individual authority to stop the shipment without being concerned for their life and that of their family. Meanwhile, it was clearly stated by the Belgian Counternarcotic prosecutors that they tracked the shipment from a port in Guyana. Therefore, it should be pellucid to the obvious that they must have used some sort of manual or technological surveillance measure to obtain their information leading to such statements.
The very information can be requested by the local CANU or the Government of Guyana from the Belgian Counternarcotic prosecutors and used to ascertain the relationships and roles of the key South American and local Guyanese members of the drug smuggling criminal gang to execute their investigations. The acquisition of such information will significantly help the local Guyanese authorities to make effective and confident arrest, removing their willy-nilly actions to not detain persons wrongfully against their rights.
Let it be noted here, that this level of drug shipment speaks volumes of the level of criminality of its orchestrators, suppliers and end receivers.
Let’s ask ourselves, who stands to be the largest benefactor of such an activity? There you will find your Criminal masterminds worthy of an arrest leading to a possible life sentence, which are NOT Customs Officers and a Customs Broker.
On Thursday, 18 June, 2020 a report out of The Brussels Times headlined, “Antwerp drug lord arrested in Dubai” The article stated, “An Antwerp drug lord suspected of running an international drug trafficking scheme and linked to several violent incidents in Antwerp has been arrested in Dubai.” The 32 year old man was identified as Nordin EH, a central suspect in a police investigation into international cocaine trafficking.
On Thursday June 11, 2020, public prosecutors in Antwerp confirmed that the man arrested in Dubai was believed to have ordered a series of attacks against rivals, including grenade attacks in Flemish City since 2017. His arrest came after another series of grenade and Kalashnikovs (AK-47) attacks were executed on a man identified as Frank V., a dockworker, due to a misplaced drug shipment.
In September 2020, The Brussels Times also reported that a Former Belgian police chief was arrested for large-scale cocaine trafficking. The article went on to state that, “Investigators from the federal justice police in the Limburg and Antwerp province searched several locations, mainly in the Limburg province… and arrested former gendarmerie chief Willy Mechelen.” The investigation also saw the arrest of one of the members of the Aquino family, a family known for drug related crimes. Van Mechelen was arrested as the main suspect in a case involving the importation of thousands of kilos of cocaine including a shipment in rice from Guyana into Belgium.
Following a series of investigations; searches and arrest the Belgian prosecutors dealt a serious blow to the recently disbanded drug gang led by the former chief, Willy Mechelen as they intercepted and unearthed the largest overseas drug bust “in the world.”
The counternarcotic prosecutors said they had tracked the transatlantic journey of 11.5 tons of cocaine from a port in Guyana and seized it upon arrival at the Port of Antwerp on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. The federal prosecutors told the Belgian media that the estimated street value of the drug load is around €900M (US$1.59B), that’s roughly G$221.8B. In Belgium, three police officers, a port manager and a lawyer were among some 20 other criminals arrested as part of the Belgian counternarcotic operation. The “well-structured” criminal organisation is suspected of orchestrating large and “regular” drug shipments from South America to Belgium.
The shipment arrived in Belgium since the drug gang was unable to intercept it at sea due to the arrest of the drug gang members in Belgium.
Therefore, I say, “follow the money” and it’s beneficiaries while we await the grenade and Kalashnikov attacks.
Accabre Cheddi Sepaul
Citizen of Guyana