The urgency of a more ambitious response to end cocaine trafficking

“It’s urgent”, underlines the report of the fact-finding mission on drug trafficking from Guyana which recommends in particular stepping up controls and seizures, streamlining procedures or even putting in place a policy “ambitious” of prevention.

“In recent years, cocaine trafficking between Guyana and France has increased significantly and today represents between 15 and 20% of entries into the territory”. At the end of four months of work and the hearing of many actors involved in the policy of the fight against drug trafficking, the report of the senator of Guyana, Antoine Karam, was adopted unanimously by the fact-finding mission. , which insists on “the urgency of bringing a more ambitious response to put an end to cocaine trafficking in Guyana”.

In-depth controls and streamlining of procedures

The targeted traveler goes through the body scanner

© G.Ho-A-Sim

The explosion in the global production of cocaine and the strengthening of controls on certain axes (Suriname-Netherlands) explain the rise of the phenomenon which is plaguing Guyana. On each flight from Cayenne to Paris, around ten smugglers would each carry an average of 1.9 kg of cocaine. “The mules” introduce the drug into their body in the form of eggs or hide it near the body or in their luggage.

These men and women are for the most part young people, deprived of employment and prospects for socio-professional integration or people in great precariousness. A traffic, observes the mission, which takes root mainly in the west of the department, in the basin of the Maroni river.

The transport of cocaine, from neighboring Suriname, can indeed bring in 2,000 to 10,000 euros per trip, an unparalleled amount in a disadvantaged region.

Information mission on drug trafficking from Guyana

To put an end to these bad numbers, new equipment, such as X-ray scanners for baggage screening, should be deployed.

The mission recommends ad hoc carrying out of so-called in-depth checks “100 %” on arrival of flights from Guyana, like those practiced by the Netherlands on flights from countries at risk.

It also advocateslighten existing procedures as much as possible and employ each administration according to its capabilities, for example by refocusing the action ofOFAST, the anti-narcotics office, on the treatment of sponsors and the dismantling of networks.

“The transfer times for people arrested should be able to be reduced, in particular by installing medical rooms near airports and by building the Judicial City in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, indicates rapporteur Antoine Karam who proposes to “continue and intensify coordination between the various services, particularly at the local level and particularly at Félix Eboué airport”.

In its report, the mission is also in favor of further promote the sharing of information between departments, in particular thanks to recent operational narcotics intelligence units (CROS) and proposes in particular to step up the fight against money laundering and the seizure of criminal assets.

An “ambitious” prevention policy

The mission also calls for the establishment ofan ambitious prevention policy, steered by the State and endowed with adequate funding. It suggests explicitly entrusting the Prefect, with the close association of the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana, with a mission of boosting the prevention policy and coordinating initiatives carried out at the territorial level.

Prevention, suggests the mission, involves“acquire a better knowledge of the profile of smugglers and the context of entry into trafficking, to rely on the participation of repentant smugglers or representatives of the security forces or to extend the scope of this prevention to family circle and to the youngest, to counter early recruitment “.

The creation of structures or places of reception would also make it possible to support people wishing to leave the traffic or on the point of switching to it. “A real budgetary effort must be made in favor of this policy, neglected for too long”, indicates the report of the fact-finding mission on drug trafficking from Guyana

Encourage training, professional integration and reintegration

The training offer must also be a priority. “We must massively increase the reception capacity of socio-professional integration mechanisms such as local missions or adapted military service (SMA)”. In Guyana, Only 3,600 young people benefit from socio-professional support each year, while 24,200 are unemployed or unemployed.

While recognizing that the sentences handed down must be exemplary and dissuasive, the report of the senatorial mission indicates that “they must remain individualized and take into account the person’s profile as well as the context.

Reintegration must be privileged and the structures responsible for the application of sentences have the means to provide support. […] The place of incarceration should be determined according to the integration project and not the place of questioning, as at present.

Information mission on drug trafficking from Guyana

Strengthen international cooperation

Strengthening France’s involvement in regional cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean zone is also one of the recommendations of the senatorial mission.

In order to have more influence in the organizations that carry this cooperation, it also suggests “revive the membership of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana to the Caribbean community (CARICOM) as associate members” and D’“intensify bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries, particularly with Suriname”.

This cooperation is to be developed not only in terms of security, but also in terms of economic development given the potential synergies and the converging needs between our countries in the Maroni basin “, indicates the rapporteur of the information mission on drug trafficking from Guyana, Antoine Karam.

Senator Karam’s last political act

Antoine Karam, engaged since 2014 in this fight against drugs from Guyana, signed with this mission without doubt his last political act. The Guyana senator has announced that he is retiring at the end of September.“I hope that other elected officials will take up this issue because the cause is just and we cannot escape this fight”, he said.

“Cayenne – Paris, the drug route”, report produced in January 2019:

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