Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why wasn’t cocaine caught in T&T?


Mark Fraser

I read National Security Minister Gary Griffith’s response to the drug bust in Norfolk, Virginia (Express, January 18) and I would like him to clarify a few things to my simple, confused mind.

Mr Griffith, you did hint that it was a tip-off originating from our shores. So can you tell me why, if you did know about it, did you and your people allow the cocaine to be packed and sealed in cans that could pass as a product of our country?

Why did you folks allow it to be loaded onto a ship and let the said ship sail to the US and then you tip them off? What would have gotten a better result? A drug bust in Trinidad and Tobago or a drug bust coming from Trinidad and Tobago?

After the last incident with a T&T beverage and the death of a soldier do you as National Security Minister have anything to boast out in relations to our drug enforcement programme?

You spoke about the offshore patrolling vessels (OPV) and their irrelevance. You are quoted as saying, “The point of all this is it shows that the importance of sharing information and joint operations is more beneficial than acquiring 100 OPVs that may be sailing aimlessly and not knowing where the enemy is”.

Mr Griffith, that statement alone shows how unsuitable you are for the job you hold. We all know that the OPVs were supposed to be equipped with technology to locate the enemy and prevent them from entering our shores.

Mr Griffith, we do not plant coca in Trinidad and Tobago. So the point is that the cocaine was allowed to enter our shores undetected and packed in cans and shipped out of the country while your people sat waiting. And the best thing you can say is that you tipped off the US authorities? Are you serious?

Is that a boost for Trinidad and Tobago in the international fight against the drug trade? Mr Griffith, it’s a known fact that Trinidad and Tobago has always been a gateway for the drug trade between South and North America. Those OPVs were being put in place to help shut down that gateway but your Government in its wisdom chose to cancel them and the chickens have come home to roost.

Now you saying it’s more important to tip off the countries that the drugs are being shipped to than to prevent them from actually entering those countries.

So am I now to believe that all the drugs that enter our shores are then shipped out?

Have the drugs that went missing from the police station been shipped out as well? Or have they found their way onto our streets?

Mr Griffith, when you were appointed as National Security Minister we all waited to see if you would at least make a difference but you have proven that you are just another talker.

In one of our bloodiest month all you can come up with is to give the police more guns. We need a higher detection rate, Mr Griffith, not more guns.

How is giving the police more guns going to help getting these killers convicted? Or are you planning an all-out gun battle with police and criminals?

I would like to suggest to Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar please do not give us another National Security Minister with a military background.

I would like to ask our PM, how calling out all officers is going to result in a decrease in crime? And is it really helping reduce crime? And how long are you going to let officers work without their leave?

And while we twiddle Rome continues to burn.

Donald Marcano