Jamaica security firm employees detained in major drug bust

Police said that 66 kilogrammes of cocaine, with a street value of J$264 million (One Jamaica dollar = US$0.01 cents), had been seized during the operations in St. James. They said the two of the three men detained were travelling in a marked Guardsman security vehicle. The third man was in another vehicle acting as a decoy.

The seizure was a collaborative effort by members of the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption (MOCA) task force, the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division, and the Jamaica Defence Force.

“The men are in custody and charges are expected to be made against them, but, of course, they will have to be interviewed in the presence of their legal representatives,” said Inspector Dahlia Garrick, MOCA’s communication liaison officer.

General Manager in charge of operations at Guardsman, Major Ricardo Blackwood said while the company was not under investigation regarding the drug seizure, it was cooperating with police investigators.

“We do not in any way stand for what is allegedly individuals conducting [an] unlawful activity. The individual (contractor) involved has been relieved of all duties, with immediate effect, until the investigation is completed,” Blackwood said in a statement.

“In partnership with the security forces, we anticipate and encourage that the full force of the law be administered to all individuals involved,” he added.

Meanwhile, one newspaper Monday, quoting unnamed police sources said law enforcement officials are worried about a re-emergence of the cocaine trade here.

“It appears that the cocaine is coming back and it is as a result of collusion between them (nationals of the South American country) and Jamaicans,” the investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

The investigator estimates that at least 90 per cent of the cocaine coming into the island is from the same South American country and is being sent here for redistribution locally and overseas.

In 2008, businessman, Norris ‘Deedo’ Nembhard and four other Jamaican men were extradited to the United States to face cocaine charges. Investigators believed they were part of an international drug ring that also involved nationals from Panama, Colombia and Cuba.

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