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$.3m in ganja found in banana boxes

...Two men held

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

OFFICERS of the Port Police Task Force on Tuesday intercepted a vehicle exiting the Port of Port of Spain carrying marijuana valued at $300,000 hidden inside boxes filled with bananas.
According to police reports, around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, officers of the Task Force noticed two men acting suspiciously as they off-loaded boxes from a vessel docked at the Caricom Open Wharf. The vessel is said to have arrived from St Vincent.
The officers allowed the men to unpack their cargo. As the men tried to exit the port in a car, however, they were stopped near the Tobago ferry terminal.
The vehicle was searched and some 24 kilo­grammes of marijuana were found stuffed inside 18 banana boxes with false bottoms.
The driver of the vehicle and its lone passenger are currently being held at the Central Police Station.
The duo, aged 35 and 38, are expected to appear before a Port of Spain magistrate today.
The seizure was made by Cpl Joseph and PCs Sookoo, Ashby and Sinanan, of the Port Police Task Force.
The seizure by the Port Police Task Force comes one day after a $107 million marijuana eradication exercise in Biche.
Speaking to the Express by telephone yesterday, National Security Minister Gary Griffith applauded the efforts of all this country’s law enforcement officials in the fight against crime and ridding the streets of guns and drugs.
Griffith said the collaborative efforts of this country’s law enforcement officials have resulted in several key drug and gun busts.
He said last month one of the highest leve­ls of gun seizures was reported.
On December 20 last year, Customs and Border Protection officers seized 732 pounds of cocaine, valued at US$100 million, concealed in cans bearing the labels of Trinidad Orange and Grapefruit juices at the Port of Norfolk in Virginia, USA.
Griffith said local law enforcement was able to help in the seizure of 800 kilogrammes of cocaine seized off Azores by the Spanish Guardia on the sailing yacht Bucannero.
The value of this seizure was three times that of the DEA bust and valued at US$300 million.
He said local law enforcement was also integral in the seizure in 310 kilogrammes of cocaine by French Customs on the sailing yacht Blue Eye in Martinique.
The value of that bust was US$100 million.
He said the country can expect more busts to come, as citizens have started to show confidence in local law enforcement to treat with their tips.
“We have many more hits that will take place soon, and this has to do with what I call ‘HUMIT’, human intelligence. It is assisting us in trying to get the information we need and it is assisting the law-enforcement agencies greatly towards successful operations,” Griffith said.
He called on citizens to get behind local law enforcement.
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