The police high command says that since the start of the year, there has been a significant effort on the part of the law enforcement officials to disrupt the activities of the drug trade in Jamaica.
Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson said these operations have led to the seizure of over $4 billion in narcotics in the first four months of the year.
He was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.
The police commissioner also revealed that more than 18 per cent of individuals arrested in the drug raids were women.
Authorities said since the start of the year, a total of 59 persons, inclusive of 48 men and 11 women, were nabbed in connection with the narcotics trade.
Providing a further breakdown, the commissioner spoke about last week’s major seizure of J$88 million worth of cocaine, along with US$3.8 million and CAD$30,000 in Coral Gardens, St James.
In addition to that major find, another 184 kilograms of cocaine, with an estimated street value of US$9.2 million or J$1.4 billion, was also been seized by law enforcement.
In other operations, marijuana weighing approximately 7,401 kilograms, with an estimated street value of over US$19.5 million or close to J$3.1 billion, has also been seized so far this year.
Anderson, at the press conference, pointed out that the main sources of funding for criminal gangs are proceeds from drug trafficking, lottery scamming, arms trafficking, and extortion.
“For decades, the drug trade has fuelled crime and violence in our country… These funds are being used to fuel gun violence and murder as they carry out their criminal activities and reprisals,” he indicated.
In recognition of these realities, Anderson said the police have stepped up their operational activities and increased their collaboration with the Financial Investigations Division (FID), Jamaica Customs, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and other local and international partners to intercept the illicit drug trade.
Those collaborative efforts resulted in last week’s historic seizure of cocaine and currency in St James, according to Anderson, who added that one person remains in custody relative to that incident.
“These [drug] operations are ongoing and will be a feature of our policing activities as we assess our environment and continue to develop our intelligence and align our responses accordingly,” declared the police commissioner.