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Regional Security Services swoop down on ganja fields

Regional Security Services swoop down on ganja fields


The bulk of the marijuana farmers in this country are part of dangerous networks of organized crime, and are also involved in guns and cocaine trafficking.{{more}}

This is according to Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Ralph Gonsalves, as he addressed the ongoing, massive anti-crime operation, dubbed operation Vincy-Pac, which began here 4am on Monday, May 18th.

The Prime Minister sought to squash any sense of sympathy that may exist for the marijuana planters who stand to lose substantially as the operation continues.

“The concept of the noble marijuana farmer is a concept which is largely out of date,” Dr Gonsalves said.

“Some still have an outdated view that people in the hills are noble farmers, eking out a living for their distressed families,” he added.

He explained that for security reasons, residents in the various communities, and the nation on a whole, could not be informed about the operation ahead of time.

Several hundred law enforcement personnel, including officers from the local police, officers from the Regional Security Systems (RSS) member countries, and police and army personnel from Trinidad and Tobago have been swamping the mountainous interior of this country.

The Prime Minister, with camouflage clad police Commissioner Keith Miller at his side, said that one of the important elements of this operation is that it is an entirely regional operation.

“The difference between this operation and others which have taken place in this country hitherto, is that other operations were directed to a significant degree by the interests and concerns of entities external to the country and the region,” he said.

Dr Gonsalves noted that this country and other Caribbean territories are in the traffic way to the most lucrative markets of drug trafficking in the world, hence the need to stay on top of things.

He noted that among the goals of the operation is the gathering of intelligence, the protecting of the environment, the controlling of de-forestation and the rescuing of young men who may want to escape the clutches of the drug dealers.

He said that while some young men go into the hills voluntarily, many of them want to get out but cannot, as they feel trapped by the drug dealers they work for.

The Prime Minister, who was not yet willing to reveal details about any success achieved thus far, said that he is certain that the majority of Vincentians support the mission.

He further stated that it is important that a risk be attendant on those who want to be involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

He said that young people must see that the way of the underworld is not the way to go. (KJ)