Continuing efforts by police in Barbados to clean up the illegal drugs trade are experiencing a persistent set back.
Head of the Drug Squad, Superintendent Grafton Phillips, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that in spite of its “many” seizures, the consumption of marijuana in particular, remained too high.
“There have been many seizures, but there is something wrong with the demand side. I have asked the people who deal with the demand side to do something about their programmes, because they don’t seem to be working,” lamented Superintendent Phillips.
“We are even getting drugs coming in from New York and California now. The consumption in Barbados is too high,” he added.
For example, the senior police officer argued that while there has been a slight drop in major landings from sea, the overall amount of drugs confiscated so far this year, had gone up.
He noted that the Drug Squad had made its biggest seizure for the year so far, when personnel hauled in about a ton of marijuana or well over 2,000 pounds with a street value of $4 million during an operation at Fitts Village in St. James last night.
Police said that on their arrival at the scene, a large group of armed men was encountered on the beach and they reportedly opened fire with what appeared to be heavy calibre weapons.
One man was held by the Coast Guard in the sea and two others were arrested nearby by police.
Police officials said a gun, which was discovered with the drug shipment, along with two vehicles and a boat, were taken into custody. The drugs were found in 50 polythene bags and three taped packages. The three men held are currently assisting police in their investigations into this landing.
Phillips revealed that between January today, the Drug Squad seized more than 4,140 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $8 million, 4,234 plants, six firearms, 224 assorted rounds of ammunition and arrested 60 people. So far this year, he noted, there have been three major landings from sea.
The head of the Drug Squad told this newspaper that between January and the same time in March last year, they confiscated a total of 1,432 pounds of marijuana, 3,472 plants and dealt with four major landings with a street value of $6.3 million. He said that arising from those drugs busts, 66 people were arrested, but no firearms were found.
He said too cocaine seizures were down so far this year – half a pound so far this year compared to three pounds for the corresponding period last year. (EJ)†††