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Barbados Coast Guard seizes more drugs and vessels in 2021

Barbados Coast Guard seizes more drugs and vessels in 2021
Members of the Barbados Coast Guard on board the HMBS Trident. (FILE)

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The Barbados Coast Guard is stepping up “defence and protection” of the country’s maritime space where there has been an increase in the trading of illegal narcotics.

According to a media release from the Barbados Defence Force, from January 1 to October 13, the Coast Guard, its maritime division, seized 5 895 pounds of cannabis, 183 pounds of cocaine, one firearm, one AR15 rifle and nine vessels.

Additionally 28 non-nationals and seven nationals were also held in connection with these crimes.

“These statistics, compared to the year 2020, reflect an 11% and 50% increase in marijuana and cocaine interdictions, respectively. Additionally, they highlight a 467% increase in the number of non-nationals arrested in connection to these related crimes. Analytics suggest that one factor contributing to this increase, is the current socioeconomic environment, faced regionally and the local demand,” the release said.

“In 2020, the BCG conducted several counter-narcotic operations which led to the interdictions of 5 277lbs of marijuana and 162lbs of cocaine as well as five small arms, one Draco AR 47 and a quantity of ammunition. Seven vessels [were seized], six non-nationals and seven nationals were also arrested and charged in connection with maritime drug-related offences.”

The Barbados Coast Guard also assisted the Government of Barbados in its fight against COVID-19. Everyone taken into custody has to undergo mandatory COVID-19 screening. There were no positive tests in 2020 and only one in 2021, a non-national, who was “isolated in accordance with the National Policy”. (PR/SAT)