Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jan 2007
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2007 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Glenroy Sinclair, Senior Crime Reporter


A combination of initiatives last year, by narcotics  detectives and
their overseas counterparts, resulted in  the seizure of more than
J$500 million worth of ganja  and cocaine, in addition to the
destruction of at least  9.38 million ganja seedlings.

Reports are that between January and November last  year, 36,017
kilogrammes of ganja and 108.41  kilogrammes of cocaine were seized.
This compares to  the 152.84 kg of cocaine and 14,428 kg of ganja
seized  the previous year.

"Ganja production tripled in 2006, when compared with  what we seized
in 2005," said Senior Superintendent of  Police (SSP) Carlton Wilson,
head of the Narcotics  Division, who was responding questions posed by
The  Gleaner.

Intelligence-driven operations

During their numerous, intelligence-driven operations  islandwide, SSP
Wilson said his team intercepted more  containers with compressed
ganja last year, seized more  vehicles and destroyed more hectares of
ganja. Of  concern to the narcotics police was the seizure of  10.63
kilograms of heroin.

"For the past years we have not seen or found any  heroin here," said
SSP Wilson.

While the police have seized a minimal amount of  ecstasy tablets, the
narcotics chief was also alert to  the possibility that drugs such as
a amphetamines and  morphine could be in the country.

"We have not seen these drugs on the local market yet,  but we are on
high alert for them," said SSP Wilson. He  added: "We will be
extending our eradication programme  in 2007."

Drug seizures apart, the narcotics police arrested more  people last
year, including some of the key players in  the business. SSP Wilson
stressed that the majority of  persons arrested were intercepted with
the drug or had  attempted to smuggle the drug into the United Kingdom.

Up to the end of November, 6,220 persons had been  arrested, including
318 foreigners. This compares to  the 6,215 arrests made in 2005.
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