More than thirty million in drugs destroyed; law enforcement records uptick in drug trafficking

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By Elesha George

[email protected]

Plumes of soot darkened the skies near the Burma Quarry on Friday morning, as law enforcement officials watched approximately 1,600 pounds of cannabis and cocaine products go up in flames.

Authorities valued the drugs at $32.5 million and told Observer that the majority of the substances were seized from the country’s two main ports of entry – the Deepwater Harbour and the V C Bird International Airport. The haul includes an estimated $1.19 million worth of cannabis plants, brownies, gummies and edibles, as well as $24.9 million worth of cocaine.

Police Public Relations Officer, Frankie Thomas, said that lawmen seized a large volume of drugs in the first half of the year, but he noted that there were no arrests following the discovery of most of these substances.

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“It was quite a number of seizures we made between January and June of this year, and that of course is a concern,” he said.

“Historically speaking, Antigua and Barbuda is seen and known to be a transshipment point as it relates to narcotic substances,” he stated further.

Thomas shared that there was some decrease of drug trafficking during the peak of the Covid pandemic, with the adjourning of air, sea and ground transportation.

However, with transportation numbers almost back to pre-Covid figures, the authorities have begun to see an uptick in attempts to traffic drugs through the twin-island state.

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Complimenting the efforts of law enforcement and court officials, Thomas said that the entire nation should at least feel “somewhat relieved that these great amounts of harsh controlled drugs are not on the streets of Antigua and Barbuda.”

He added that “The Customs and Police continue to redouble their efforts in ensuring that we at least keep our thumbs on that particular pulse, and at least try to reduce the amount of these illegal substances that are being trafficked through our borders.”

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