Cops confident $300-m cocaine bust will impact gangs | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The Jamaica Constabulary Force is confident that a $300-million cocaine bust on Monday and the 715 pounds of compressed ganja seized on Saturday have put a major dent in the operations of the island’s criminal underworld.

According to the head of the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, the two drug finds are part of the security forces’ effort to stymie funding for gangs on the island.

“We see how this can have an impact on the criminal network. We have to commend the Marine Division and the JDF Coast Guard. This is the second major drug find in three days. Just Saturday, they found over 700 pounds of compressed marijuana and today they are finding this.

“It is the proceeds from drugs that are fuelling the gangs, and as we continue to seek to dismantle the gangs, to seize all the guns, and to apprehend all the gunmen, then we believe that these operations and the impact that they will have, will ultimately allow us to take away the proceeds that they are using to fund their illegal activities,” SSP Lindsay said.

On Monday, the security forces said they found an estimated $300 million worth of cocaine in a vessel they had seized five days prior.

Reports from the police are that on April 6, three men aboard a vessel reportedly experienced mechanical difficulties at sea and requested assistance from the Coast Guard of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to return to land.

The three reportedly said they were fishermen, and the Coast Guard towed the vessel to shore from Pedro Bank, where it was found.

SSP Lindsay said that, upon investigation, it was discovered that the vessel did not have the proper documentation needed by the Fisheries Department. The Marine Division of the JCF was alerted, and the three men were charged with breaches of the Fisheries Act.

The men were bailed and scheduled to appear in the St Andrew Parish Court on May 11.

According to Lindsay, however, the Marine Police’s suspicion was aroused when they discovered 29 40-gallon containers with a liquid substance onboard the vessel. The liquid substance has been sent to the Forensic Laboratory for testing, which is still outstanding.

On Monday, the Marine Police continued their investigation on the vessel and found suspicious features, which led to the dismantling of the watercraft, at which time they discovered a total of 141 packages of cocaine, weighing two kilos each, in secret compartments.

The operation has been taken over by the Narcotics Division of the JCF.

“Narcotics has now taken over the investigations; they will update us in good time. They will have to continue the investigation, find these men and lay additional charges,” Lindsay said.