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Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) said it is highly unlikely that the 1,100lbs of cocaine discovered in a shipment of rum in the Netherlands which originated from Guyana, was planted here.
In a statement on Saturday, the beverage company said the various checks and balances executed in Guyana, including its own security mechanisms employed during the packing of containers with its product at its Diamond plant, would have detected any illegal substances.
The contaminated shipment of rum arrived in the Netherlands on November 25. According to the Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) James Singh, no illegal substance was detected in the container when it was scanned and examined before leaving Guyana. CANU, however, continues to work with the authorities in the Netherlands to investigate the crime.
DDL said it will continue to put the necessary safeguards in place to protect its brand.
“DDL has always been and remains committed to ensuring that its reputable image and that of its internationally acclaimed Demerara brands of rum, which only recently won Geographic Indication (GI) recognition in Europe, is never compromised,” it said.
The beverage giant said it is disappointed that its recent shipment of rum was contaminated.
“DDL is concerned that international shipping routes which necessitate transshipment through certain other countries now present a growing lack of confidence in transshipment arrangements and hopes that more effective security and detection measures would be implemented so as to prevent contamination of shipments that threaten the credibility of reputable companies and their products which earn significant foreign exchange for the nation,” it added.
The company said that it was as a result of its rigid commitment to protection of its unblemished image and that of its supply chain and its products that the recent discovery was made by staff of its contracted bonded warehouse, who immediately called in the relevant law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands.
DDL subsequently informed the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) Customs officials. CANU was subsequently informed by both the Netherlands authorities and the GRA.
“Further evidence of DDL’s commitment to protection of its shipments against contamination and international recognition of this commitment is the fact that the authorities in the Netherlands released the shipment to DDL’s control once the illegal substance was removed later the same day of the discovery,” the company said.