JAM | Sep 19, 2023

Holness calls for multilateral strategy to tackle drug trafficking

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness responding to questions from media at a press conference convened at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Thursday, August 3, 2023. (OUR TODAY photo)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for countries to adopt a collective multilateral approach to tackle the scourge of drug trafficking in the region and other parts of the world.

The prime minister, who was speaking at the 37th International Drug Enforcement Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Tuesday, September 19, said to effectively tackle drug-related crimes, the network of law enforcers must be stronger than the network of criminals.

“Drug trafficking is a global challenge that transcends geographical boundaries underscoring the necessity for nations to adopt a cooperative, multilateral strategy to effectively combat this transnational crime. These collective endeavours are instrumental in dismantling intricate networks linked to drug trafficking. Jamaica continues to be the largest Caribbean source country for ganja and transit point for cocaine trafficking from South America to North America to Europe,” he said.

He said that transnational criminal organisations continue to use Jamaica as a drug trafficking location, despite the country’s consistent and ongoing to reduce the illicit trafficking of narcotics.

“We have estimated 150 unofficial entry points into our country and our geographic location and accessibility facilitates direct routes for narco-trafficking from South to Central America to the United States to Canada and the United Kingdom and Europe,” he said.

The prime minister said that the transnational criminal organisations have increased their use of courier services to conduct shipments to North America and the United Kingdom.

“Jamaica is aggressively seeking to strengthen the capacity of our Customs Agency as a key component of not just our border protection system, but integrating it into our national system security apparatus. The agency recently obtained direct access to the information system of Interpol and we have now established a very strong internal cooperation with customs, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, our military and the Major Organised Crime & Anti-Corruption Agency, so our idea of strengthening cooperation through networking and better sharing resources, sharing of information I would believe is one of the points that we need to pursue strongly in this conference,” he said.

Holness’ comments come when Jamaica among other Caribbean countries such as The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Haiti have been listed by the United States as major drug transshipment points.


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